American actress Cindy Williams has died at the age of 75.
Williams was best known for her role as Shirley Feeney, which she portrayed in American sitcoms Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley during the 1970s. Williams enjoyed a long and successful acting career, and received critical acclaim for her role in the 1973 film American Graffiti.
Williams died peacefully in hospital last week after a brief illness, according to a statement from her children Emily and Zak Hudson. Here we take a look back at the life and times of Cindy Williams and the cause of her death.
Who was Cindy Williams?
Cindy Williams was an American actress and producer who was born in Los Angeles, California, on 22 July 1947.
Williams was raised in Dallas, Texas, for most of her early years and she developed an interest for writing and acting at a young age. She attended Los Angeles City College with a theatre major.
After graduating, Williams featured in a range of sitcoms including Room 222, Barefoot in the Park and The Funny Side.
Her first major breakthrough in film came in George Lucas’s 1973 comedy drama American Graffiti. Williams was critically acclaimed for her performance and was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Fans will best know Williams for her role as Shirley Feeney - a character she played in five episodes of Happy Days and more notably for 159 episodes on Laverne & Shirley. The sitcom was one of the most well followed shows during the 1970s and Williams received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in 1978.
She returned to play the role of Feeney in a number of special television appearances in later years.
Who was her husband?
Cindy Williams married Bill Hudson of the musical trio Hudson Brothers in 1982. Hudson’s band enjoyed success with hits such as So You Are A Star, Rendezvous and Help Wanted during the 1970s. Williams’ marriage with Hudson ended in 2000 when the pair divorced. Together they have two children, Emily and Zak Hudson.
What was the cause of her death?
Cindy Williams died peacefully last week on Wednesday 25 January 2023. She died from a brief illness, according to a statement from her children. Emily and Zak Hudson described their mother as kind and hilarious.
They said: “Her death 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 humour and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.”
When did her Laverne and Shirley co-star die?
Cindy Williams formed an iconic comedy partnership with Carole Penny Marshall who played the role of Laverne DeFazio. The American actress, director and producer enjoyed a long and successful career which also saw her direct big name films such as Awakenings, A League of Their Own, The Preacher’s Wife and Bewitched. Marshall died on 17 December 2018 at the age of 75.