Cindy Williams, the actress beloved for her role as Shirley on the 1970s sitcom Laverne & Shirley died on Wednesday at 75. She died after a brief illness, according to Williams’ personal assistant.

Williams starred alongside Penny Marshall in the Happy Days spinoff. The show followed the two young women who worked together at a Milwaukee brewery. She received a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a comedy for Laverne & Shirley. It was one of the highest-rated shows in the country for several years of its eight-season run.

The show propelled Williams in her career as an actress, going on to secure dozens of roles on the big and small screen. She appeared on Law and Order: SVU, 7th Heaven, The Odd Couple and Normal Life. Early in her career, she starred in George Lucas’s American Graffiti and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation.

She is survived by her children, Emily and Zak Hudson, who called their mother “one of a kind” in a statement Monday.

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” they said. “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.”


Her children remembered her for her dedication to rescuing animals, her “prolific artistry, her faith and most of all, her ability to make the world laugh.”

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