Cindy Williams, played Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the popular sitcom.
Following a brief illness, Williams passed away in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the age of 75, according to a statement from her children Zak and Emily Hudson and family representative Liza Cranis. In a statement released by her family, she passed away the previous Wednesday but her death was reported by them only on Monday evening.
The statement read on behalf of her children Zak and Emily ” 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 also had roles in the 1973 movies American Graffiti by George Lucas and The Conversation by Francis Ford Coppola.
But Laverne & Shirley, the Happy Days spinoff that aired on ABC from 1976 to 1983 and was one of the most watched television programs during its heyday, is by far the show for which she is best remembered.
The opening tune of Laverne & Shirley was almost as well-known as the program itself. Cindy Williams and Marshall’s “schlemiel, schlimazel” chant as they skipped beside one another became a cultural phenomenon and a frequently recalled memory.
The reason of Cindy William’s death is still unknown.
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