American actress and producer Cynthia Jane Williams has passed away at the age of 75.
Cindy was best known for portraying Shirley Feeney in the 1970s TV show Laverne & Shirley. The sitcom ran for eight seasons from 1976 to 1983 and racked up a total of 178 episodes.
Her passing was announced by her children, Emily and Zak Hudson, who issued a statement through family spokesperson Liza Cranis.
“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” the family 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.”
As AP confirmed, the actress succumbed to her illness after a short battle.
Williams kicked off her acting career in the early 1970s when she made guest appearances in shows and films like Room 222 and Barefoot in the Park.
She later appeared as Laurie in the 1973 drama/comedy American Graffiti and was later nominated for Best Supporting Actress at BAFTA. In the following year, Williams appeared in The Conversation by Francis Ford Coppola.
After meeting Penny Marshall by chance during a double date, the pair were hired to appear as Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney in Happy Days.
Their brief performance in the TV series was received with so much praise that a spin-off series Laverne & Shirley was born. The sitcom follows the main characters’ adventures through the years.
After leaving the show before the end of season 8 due to her pregnancy, Williams went on to appear in a number of shows including Getting By and Normal Life. In 2013, she also reunited with Marshall for an episode of Sam & Cat.
Our thoughts remain with Cindy’s family and friends during this challenging time.