Actress Cindy Williams, known for her role in the popular television show Laverne & Shirley, has passed away at the age of 75.

Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeney on the enduring 1970s sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has died aged 75.

The gifted actress, who starred alongside Penny Marshall on all eight seasons of the venerable ABC series, passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness, according to her family.

Zak and Emily Hudson, her children, said Liza Cranis, a family spokeswoman.


The statement continued: “The passing of our kind, funny mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us incredible pain that could never be properly expressed.

We enjoyed and cherished the opportunity to know and love her. The statement concluded: “She was one of a kind, beautiful, giving, and had a fantastic sense of humor and a dazzling spirit that everyone loved.

As soon as Williams died, tributes poured in from fellow actors and famous people.

Laverne and Shirley co-star Michael McKean took to Twitter to share a heartfelt story from their early days together.

Backstage, Season 1: Waiting for a cue backstage. We give it to us all despite the challenging script and the audience has a great time. Cindy runs past me to enter and announces with a dazzling smile, “Show’s cooking!” he wrote.

“Amen. I’m grateful, Cindy.”

Renowned filmmaker Ron Howard said, “#CindyWilliams Every character she created, as well as the people she worked with, were influenced by her unassuming intelligence, talent, wit, and kindness. In six different projects, our acting roles were paired. There will be several dramas, #HappyDays, and #laverneandshirley. I’m lucky. Goodbye, Cindy.

Cindy has been my friend and professional colleague since I first met her on Happy Days in 1975, according to Henry Winkler, who met Williams while portraying Fonzie on the Happy Days TV series. I have never been in her company when she was not polite, kind, and nice. There was no end to Cindy’s skills. No genre was too difficult for her to master. I am very glad to have met her.

Additionally, actor Jon Donahue wrote, “Sad to hear of the passing of #CindyWilliams. I will always admire her work on ‘The Conversation’ and ‘American Graffiti’ as I watched her on the iconic sitcom ‘Laverne & Shirley’ with the late, great Penny Marshall May her memory be eternal.

Williams, who was classmates with Sally Field and Michael Ovitz at Birmingham High School when she was a child, was born in Los Angeles in 1947 and spent her formative years writing and acting there.

She began her acting career in the early 1970s, appearing in TV comedies such as Barefoot in the Park and Room 222, before being cast in 1972 by the late great director George Cukor in Travels With My Aunt.

She began her acting career in the early 1970s, appearing in TV comedies such as Barefoot in the Park and Room 222, before being cast in 1972 by the late great director George Cukor in Travels With My Aunt.

She later landed the role of Laurie, Steve’s girlfriend in George Lucas’ American Graffiti, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Williams was a candidate for the role of Princess Leia Organa, but the role was eventually won by Carrie Fisher.

Williams then starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 Best Picture nominee The Conversation.

She went on a double date with Penny Marshall before being hired by Coppola’s American Zoetrope to write a television skit for America’s bicentennial.

Marshall’s brother Garry Marshall invited Marshall and Williams to star as Shirley Feeney and Laverne DeFazio, the two dates of Fonzie (Henry Winkler), on his popular television sitcom Happy Days.

The Laverne & Shirley spin-off series, developed by Lowell Ganz, Garry Marshall, and Mark Rothman, chronicles the main characters’ exploits as single women in the 1950s and 1960s because their look was so popular.

Williams said of the characters in 2002: “They were lovable.

Feeney was trusting and innocent, while DeFazio had a short fuse and was protective. The plot was inspired by the personal lives of the actors.

“We made a list of talent that we had at the beginning of each season,” Marshall recalled to the AP in 2002. “We used Cindy’s ability to connect her tongue to her nose in an act. I tap danced.

Williams claimed in 2013 that she and Marshall had “very different personalities”, but that rumors of their conflict while filming the show was “a bit exaggerated”.

With its inspirational opening song, “Give us any chance, we’ll take it, read us any rule, we’ll break it,” the series was a rare network success with working-class characters.

As famous as the show itself would prove to be this opening. Williams and Marshall’s cry of “schlemiel, schlimazel” as they ran together became a cultural phenomenon and an oft-recalled memory.

The heroes moved from Milwaukee to Burbank, California, giving up their brewery jobs for department store jobs as ratings dropped in the sixth season.

Williams requested reduced hours after becoming pregnant in 1982. After her demands were not met, she walked off the set and sued the production company that owned it.

Eight seasons of the sitcom were produced, but Williams stepped down after the second episode of the last season when she became pregnant.

After appearing in several TV movies in the 1980s, Williams returned to television in the 1990s with Normal Life and Getting By.

She continued to produce regularly over the years, even rejoining Marshall (who died in 2018) in a 2013 episode of Sam & Cat dedicated to Laverne & Shirley. In 2015, she published the book Shirley, I Jest!, which she co-wrote with Dave Smitherman.

Williams has appeared in numerous television shows over the past three decades, including 7th Heaven, 8 Simple Rules, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Me, Myself, and Shirley, a one-woman stage production featuring stories from Williams’ career, was staged by Williams last year at a theater in Palm Springs, California, not far from her home in Desert Hot Springs.

From 1982 to 2000, Williams was married to musician Bill Hudson of the Hudson Brothers, and the couple had two children together, Zak and Emily Hudson.

He had a previous relationship with Goldie Hawn and is the paternal grandfather of actress Kate Hudson.

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