LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cindy Williams’ Shirley, who played opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died, her family said Monday.
Williams died Wednesday in Los Angeles after a short illness at the age of 75, Williams’ children Zach and Emily Hudson said in a statement released by family spokeswoman Lisa Kranis.
“The loss of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has left us with insurmountable sadness that we cannot truly express,” the statement said. “It has been our joy and privilege to know and love her. She was unique , beautiful, generous, with a great sense of humor and a sparkling spirit that everyone loves.”
Williams also starred in director George Lucas’ 1973 film “American Graffiti” and director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 “Conversations.”
But by far she is best known for “Laverne & Shirley,” the “Happy Days” spinoff that aired on ABC from 1976 to 1983 and was one of the most popular shows on television during its heyday. one.
Williams plays the straitlaced Shirley and Marshall’s freer Laverne on the show, about a pair of roommates who worked at a bottling plant in Milwaukee in the 1950s and ’60s.
Marshall, who died in 2018, co-created the series with his brother Garry Marshall.
The opening theme of “Laverne & Shirley” is almost as famous as the show itself. Williams and Marshall singing “schlemiel, schlimazel” while jumping rope together became a cultural phenomenon and are often evoked nostalgia.
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