Cindy Williams of ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Fame Dies At 75

Cindy Williams, who found TV fame as Shirley Feeney in the top-rated TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has died at the age of 75.
Cindy Williams (image via official website)

Cindy Williams, who found TV fame as the eternally chipper Shirley Feeney in the top-rated TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has died at the age of 75.

According to a statement from her children, Williams died in Los Angeles on January 25 following a brief illness.

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” the statement said. “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.”

After several appearances on television on shows like “Room 222,” “Nanny and the Professor” and “Love, American Style,” Williams garnered major attention in George Lucas’ 1973 coming-of-age film American Graffiti as Laurie Henderson.

She also scored in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation in 1974, starring alongside Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford and Robert Duvall.

And then came…Laverne & Shirley.


Williams scored her big break in 1975, when she and Penny Marshall were cast in ABC’s “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 Globes nominations and one Emmy nomination.

Williams departed the show in its eighth and final season after she became pregnant with her first child.

Williams’ comedic partner in crime, Penny Marshall, passed away in December 2018 at the age of 75.

Rest in peace, Cindy Williams.