Tributes flow following the passing of ‘Laverne & Shirley’ actress Cindy Williams

Feb 01, 2023
Cindy Williams rose to fame as the gregarious brewery bottle capper, Shirley Feeney, in Laverne and Shirley. Source: Getty Images.

Cindy Williams, who rose to fame on the iconic sitcom Laverne and Shirley, sadly passed away on Wednesday, January 25 at the age of 75, following a brief illness.

Williams’ children announced her death on Monday, January 31 in a statement in which they conveyed their “insurmountable sadness”.

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

“Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous and possessed a brilliant sense of humour and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.”

Born August 22, 1947, Williams began her acting pursuits at an early age with performances at a local church.

She later attended Los Angeles City College where she majored in theatre. Upon her graduation, Williams began appearing in commercials and later secured roles in television shows such as Room 222 and American Style.

Williams made the move to film with roles in movies such as Travels with My Aunt, American Graffiti, and The Conversation. 

In 1975, Williams guest starred as gregarious brewery bottle capper, Shirley Feeney, in an episode of Happy Days alongside Penny Marshall, who played her best friend and roommate Laverne De Fazio.

The positive reception that the two characters received led to a spin off series for the pair, titled Laverne and Shirley.

Williams remained with the series from 1976 until 1982, which at one point was the number one rated show on television. Williams received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Shirley.

Williams made a return to television in the 1990s in the short lived sitcom Normal Life and later in the family sitcom Getting By. 

In addition to her television roles, Williams performed onstage with national tours of Grease, Deathtrap and Moon Over Buffalo. She made her Broadway debut as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone at the Marquis Theatre on December 11, 2007.

As news broke of Williams’ passing, fans joined those in the entertainment industry in mourning the late actress, many taking solace in the thought that Laverne and Shirley are “together again”.


Williams is survived by her children, Emily and Zak Hudson.

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