Beloved actress Cindy Williams, best known for her role in the 1970s hit 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, revealing that she had actually passed away the previous Wednesday.
The statement on behalf of her children Zak and Emily Hudson read, “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 rose to international fame after starring in director George Lucas’ 1973 film American Graffiti, followed by the acclaimed 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film The Conversation.
But she found stardom in the Happy Days spinoff, Laverne & Shirley, which aired from 1976 to 1983. Williams played Shirley Feeney, the straight-laced roommate of Penny Marshall’s free-spirited Laverne DiFazio in a sitcom set in a Milwaukee brewery in the 1950s.
While auditioning for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars, she met producer Gary Marshall, Penny Marshall’s brother, who got her chanting “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated” much to the delight of fans.
Her family says that the actress suffered a brief illness, but has not released further details.