Cindy Williams, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star, Passes At 75

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 27: Actress Cindy Williams discusses and signs copies of her new book "Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life" at Book Soup on June 27, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Beck Starr/Getty Images)

Cindy Williams, the bubbly actress who played Shirley Feeney on the adored sitcom Laverne & Shirley, a spin off of Happy Days, passed away at 75 years old last week in Los Angeles after succumbing to a swift illness, as told by a spokeswoman representing her two children, Zak and Emily Hudson.

“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” the pair’s statement read.

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Williams starred alongside Penny Marshall, who passed away in 2018, for eight seasons from 1976 to 1983, on the show that followed the two rule-breaking bottle-capping women through 1960s Milwaukee for all sorts of endearing moments and misadventures.

Laverne & Shirley came to be after Williams and Marshall made five successful appearances on Happy Days, as “two girls who date the fleet”, meaning they put out, in a storyline that placed them next to Henry Winkler’s legendary Fonzie.

But for the spinoff, the two women’s persona was made a little more wholesome, so the program could run during family hour, which was a policy but in place by the FCC requiring networks to air “family friendly” programming during the first hour of primetime television.

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