Cindy Williams, who portrayed Shirley Feeney on the venerable sitcom Laverne & Shirley, passed away at the age of 75.
Williams passed away on Wednesday in Los Angeles after a “short illness,” according to a statement issued by her kids, Zak and Emily Hudson.
According to AP, the statement says, “The departure of our kind, funny mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us incomparable pain that could never properly be articulated.” We have enjoyed and valued the opportunity to know and love her. She was exceptional, lovely, giving, and loved by all. She also had a wonderful sense of humour and a sparkling spirit.
Williams, who was born in Los Angeles on August 22, 1947, began his acting career on TV in episodes of Love, American Style and Nanny and the Professor.
She then made a name for herself by landing parts in two of the most well-known Hollywood movies of the 1970s: she played Laurie Henderson, Ron Howard’s high school girlfriend in George Lucas’ American Graffiti, and she also had a part in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation.
But her most well-known role wouldn’t come about until after another TV appearance. Williams and actress Penny Marshall were chosen to play Laverne and Shirley, a couple of dates for Richie and Fonzie, in an episode of Happy Days.
Producer Garry Marshall developed a spin-off series called Laverne & Shirley as a result of the appearance’s overwhelming popularity. After eight seasons and a high level of popularity, the programme was named the most watched programme in the country in its third season.
One of television’s most recognisable openings (“One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight! The series, which aired from the late 1950s until the middle of the 1960s, featured the exploits of Laverne DeFazio (Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Williams), best friends and roommates.
The two low-class individuals begin their careers at Milwaukee’s Shotz Brewery as bottle cappers. As a contrast to her brassier, more caustic best friend, Williams’ Shirley was the sweeter, more conventional, and more traditional of the two.
The fact that “blue-collar” women were featured in a TV series for the first time and in large part because of the chemistry between Williams and Marshall contributed to the success of the show.
In a 2013 interview, Williams claimed that “we kind of had telepathy.” “If we enter a room together and there is anything special there, we will both notice it at the same time and remark on it. We had always been that way.
But Williams eventually departed Laverne & Shirley in the show’s final season because filming was difficult while she was expecting her first child. She left the series after an out-of-court settlement with Paramount.
“They couldn’t deal with it — that I needed time off to have a child,” Cindy told ET. “They had me working on my due date.” Ultimately, I was unable to participate in that season of the show.
Williams and Marshall also quarrelled during the show’s last seasons, but they later made up.
She returned to television in the sitcoms Normal Life and Getting By after taking a few years off from show business to raise her child.
She had popularity on the theatre as well, making appearances in numerous national plays and musicals as well as The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway.
In addition to collaborating once more with Penny Marshall in an episode of the Nickelodeon sitcom Sam & Cat, Williams published a memoir titled Shirley, I Jest! in 2015.
2018 saw the passing of Marshall, who was 75. She is “really unique, a truly amazing talent,” according to Williams. Wow, that was fun! Can’t express how much I’ll miss her, she said to People.
Squiggy’s series actor David Lander passed away in 2020 at the age of 73. The show’s creator and Penny’s brother, Garry Marshall, passed away in 2016 at the age of 81. Only Michael McKean, who played the lead role, is still alive and still working today.
We all grew up watching Laverne & Shirley, and Cindy Williams was a memorable part of TV history as one half of the titular duo.