Beloved actress Cindy Williams, who was best known to American audiences as onhalf of hit 1970s television show Laverne & Shirley, has passed away at the age of 75.
Williams’ passing was reported on Monday evening in a statement released by her family, where it was revealed that she actually passed away the previous Wednesday.
The statement, on behalf of her children Zak and Emily Hudson, read in part, “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.”
Brought to international fame after starring in director George Lucas’s 1973 film American Graffiti, a performance that she followed up the following year with the acclaimed 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film The Conversation.
But she really found stardom in Happy Days spinoff Laverne & Shirley, which aired from 1976 to 1983. Williams played the straight-laced Shirley Feeney opposite Penny Marshall’s free-spirited Laverne DiFazio in a sitcom about a pair of room mates who worked in a Milwaukee brewery in the 1950s.
Auditioning for the part of Princess Leia in Star Wars, she wound up meeting Marshall’s brother, producer Gary Marshall, who got her skipping down the sidewalk chanting, “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated” much to the delight of everyone who ever watched the show.
Her family says that the actress suffered a brief illness, but have not released further details.
Cindy Williams cause of death
She died peacefully last week after a brief illness, according to the statement from her children.
Emily and Zak Hudson called their mother “kind and hilarious”.
Her death “has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed”, they said in a statement on Monday that was shared by family spokesperson Liza Cranis.
“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.”
Her two children said their mother was dedicated to rescuing animals, her faith, and making the world laugh.