Jan. 30 (UPI) — Actress Cindy Williams, best known for her role as Shirley in the hit television sitcoms Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, has died at the age of 75.
Williams’ death was announced Monday on her official website. Williams died peacefully at her Los Angeles home on Jan. 25, after a short illness, according to a statement released by family spokesperson Liza Cranis.
“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” her two children, Zak and Emily Hudson, said in the statement.
“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,” the statement said.
Williams played Shirley Feeney, opposite the late Penny Marshall, in the television comedy series Laverne & Shirley from 1976 to 1983. The show, which featured two single women working at a Milwaukee brewery in the 1950s, was a spin-off of their characters on Happy Days.
Williams also appeared in the 1973 film American Graffiti, as well as The Conversation in 1974.
During her career, Williams made her Broadway debut in the role of Mrs. Tottendale in the award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone.
Williams’ stage credits also include the national tour of Grease, the national tour of Deathtrap, The Female Odd Couple and Steel Magnolias.
Williams was born in Van Nuys, Calif., where she first started acting in high school. She majored in Theater Arts at L.A. City College before landing roles on other hit television shows Room 222, Nanny and the Professor and Love, American Style in the 1970s.