Laverne & Shirley star Cindy Williams has died at the age of 75

Williams played perky, upbeat Shirley in all eight seasons of the “Happy Days” spinoff.

Cindy Williams, who played the perky, positive Shirley on the hit ’70s sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has died. Associated Press reported on Monday. He was 75 years old.

According to the Associated Press, Williams’ children, Zak and Emily Hudson, confirmed the news in a statement sent to the publication. Williams reportedly died Wednesday in Los Angeles after a brief illness.

“The passing of our dear, cheerful mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us an overwhelming sadness that could never truly be expressed,” the statement to the AP said. “It was our joy and privilege to know and love him. She was unique, beautiful, generous, with a brilliant sense of humor and a sparkling spirit that everyone loved.”

Williams originally played her most famous character, Shirley Feeney, in three episodes of “Happy Days” season 3, with her and her roommate, the tomboyish Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall), serving as friends and sidekicks to the show’s breakout character, the Fonz. (Henry Winkler).

The two were quickly spun off into their own series starring as bottle cappers at a Milwaukee brewery. “Laverne & Shirley” ran for eight seasons from 1976 to 1983, rivaling “Happy Days” for success, and Williams and Marshall starred in a large cast of Michael McKean, David Lander, Eddie Mekka, Phil Foster, Betty Garrett, and Leslie Easterbrook.

Marshall, whose brother Gary Marshall co-wrote Laverne & Shirley, died in 2018.

Williams was born in Los Angeles in 1947 and grew up in the city and Dallas, Texas. After studying theater at Los Angeles City College, he began his acting career in TV shows such as “Barefoot in the Park,” “Love, American Style,” and “Hawaii Five-O.” In 1972 he appeared in the George Cukor film ‘Travels with My Aunt’ and in 1973 he was in the cast of George Lucas’s film ‘American Graffiti’ in ‘Happy Days’ with Ron Howard and received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Actress. He reprized his role in the sequel to More American Graffiti and had a supporting role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation.

Following the success of “Laverne & Shirley,” Williams briefly voiced the character in the animated spinoff “Laverne & Shirley in the Army.” Over the years, she has been a frequent guest star on the sitcoms “CHiPs,” “8 Simple Rules” and “Girlfriends,” and reunited with Marshall on a 2013 episode of Nickelodeon’s “Sam & Cat.”

On stage, Williams has appeared in national tours of shows such as “Grease,” “Deathtrap” and “Moon Over Buffalo.” He made his Broadway debut in 2007 starring in “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Marquis Theatre.

Williams is survived by her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, from her ex-husband, actor and musician Bill Hudson.

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