Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeney on Happy Days and its spinoff Laverne & Shirley has died.
Williams’ children, Zak and Emily Hudson, told the AP,
The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed.
Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.”
Williams got her big break in 1975, when she and Penny Marshall were cast in Happy Days as Shirley and her best friend Laverne DeFazio, who went on a double date with Richie (Ron Howard) and Fonzie (Henry Winkler).
The guest appearance was so popular that it led to their own spinoff, Laverne & Shirley, which followed the friends’ lives as roommates and co-workers at Shotz Brewery. The show ran for eight seasons from 1976 to 1983, becoming the most-watched show on television by its third season and garnering six Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy nomination.
Williams broke out in George Lucas’ 1973 coming-of-age film American Graffiti as Laurie Henderson, which earned her a BAFTA nomination for best actress in a supporting role. Williams also scored a role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation in 1974.
Williams returned to sitcoms in the ’90s, and in 2013, Williams and Marshall reunited for an episode of Nickelodeon’s Sam & Cat, in which they play the creators of a ’70s sitcom.
Penny Marshall died in 2018.
Cindy Williams was 75.
RIP Cindy Williams. Thank you for the laughs. pic.twitter.com/lsEJ6JEfpw— Eric Vera (@MrEricVera) January 31, 2023