Cindy Williams, 'Laverne & Shirley' star, dies at 75

Cindy Williams, who was best known for her role in 'Laverne & Shirley' sitcom, has died on January 25 at the age of 75.

Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall
Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall worked together in 'Laverne & Shirley'. (Photo:-twitter)

Cindy Williams, the legendary actress best known for her portrayal of the role Shirley Feeney on the popular sitcom 'Laverne & Shirley', has died. She was 75.

Her two children Zak and Emily Hudson released a statement through their family spokeswoman Liza Cranis, stating that their mother has died peacefully on January 25 in Los Angeles following a brief illness. 

The statement reads, "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."

"We have always been, and will remain, SO proud of her for many things… her lifelong mission to rescue animals, her prolific artistry, her faith, and most of all, her ability to make the world laugh! May that laughter continue in everyone, because she would want that. Thank you for loving our Mom, she loved you too," they added.

Cindy Williams played Shirley Feeney in 'Laverne & Shirley'

Cindy Williams was best known for her role on 'Laverne & Shirley' which ran from 1976 to 1983. This was ABC's most popular show at that time. Williams portrayed the role of Shirley Feeney while Penny Marshall played Laverne DeFazio. They both were roommates in the show.

Laverne DeFazio was quick-tempered and defensive while Shirley Feeney was naive and trusting.

Penny Marshall had died in December 2018, also at the age of 75.

The show also starred Michael McKean and David Lander as Laverne and Shirley's oddball hangers-on Lenny and Squiggy. Lander died in 2020.

In 1982, Cindy Williams became pregnant and wanted her working hours curtailed. When her demands were not met, she walked off the show and filed a suit against the production company.

Besides 'Laverne & Shirley', Williams also acted in films such as George Lucas' 'American Graffiti' (1973) and Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Conversation' (1974).

Cindy Williams was born in the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles on August 22, 1947. Her mother was a waitress and father was an electronics technician.

Williams became interested in acting in high school. She majored in theater arts at Los Angeles City College and began winning TV roles in the late 1960s.

In the last three decades, she made guest appearance on dozens of TV series including '7th Heaven', '8 Simple Rules' and 'Law and Order: Special Victims Unit'.

In 2013, Williams and Marshall appeared in a 'Laverne & Shirley' tribute episode of the Nickelodeon series 'Sam and Cat'.

Last year, she appeared in a one-woman stage show full of stories from her career, "Me, Myself and Shirley" at a theater in Palm Springs, California near her home in Desert Hot Springs.

Her marriage to singer Bill Hudson of musical group the Hudson Brothers ended in divorce.

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