Cindy Williams, Star of Laverne & Shirley, Dies at 75

Williams was seen on Broadway in 2007 in ”The Drowsy Chaperone”.

Cindy Williams, star of Laverne & Shirley, has died at 75.
Cindy Williams, star of Laverne & Shirley, has died at 75.
(© Wikimedia Commons)

Cindy Williams, best known as television's Shirley Feeney from the popular Happy Days spinoff series Laverne & Shirley, has died. She was 75.

Williams's children announced through a family spokesperson that their mother had died in Los Angeles on January 25 following a brief illness. They included the following statement: "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 had her breakout role as Laurie Henderson in George Lucas's 1973 coming-of-age film American Graffiti, earning a BAFTA nomination for her performance. Her guest appearance on Happy Days in 1975, alongside Penny Marshall, eventually led to eight seasons of Laverne & Shirley, which followed the pair of roommates and co-workers at Milwaukee's Shotz Brewery.

In addition to her television and film career, Williams frequently performed onstage. She played Miss Lynch in the national tour of Grease and performed in the national tour of Deathtrap with Elliot Gould. Other stage credits include The Female Odd Couple with Joanne Worley (Surflight Theatre) and Steel Magnolias (Theatre at the Centre) — and in 2007, she made her Broadway debut as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone. In 2021, she performed her solo show Me, Myself & Shirley, recounting stories from her life and career in Hollywood.

Williams was married to musician Bill Hudson from 1982-2000. She is survived by their two children, Zak and Emily.