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‘Laverne & Shirley’ star Cindy Williams has died aged 75

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cindy Williams, who played Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died, her family said Monday.

Williams died Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 75 after a brief illness, her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, said in a statement released by family spokeswoman Liza Cranis.

“The passing of our kind and hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us an overwhelming sadness that could never truly be expressed,” the statement said. “Knowing and loving her was our joy and privilege. She was unique, beautiful, generous and had a sense of humor and boisterous spirit that everyone loved.”

Williams also starred in George Lucas’ 1973 film American Graffiti and Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 film The Conversation.

But she was best known for “Laverne & Shirley,” the “Happy Days” spinoff that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983, one of television’s most popular shows.

Williams played Marshall’s more libertine Shirley, Laverne, in the series about a pair of roommates who worked at a Milwaukee bottling plant in the 1950s and ’60s.

Marshall, whose brother Garry Marshall co-created the show, died in 2018.

“Laverne & Shirley” was known almost as much for the opening theme as it was for the show itself. Williams and Marshall’s singing of “schlemiel, schlimazel” as they jumped together became a cultural phenomenon and an oft-invoked piece of nostalgia.

FILE – Penny Marshal, left, and Cindy Williams of the comedy series ‘Laverne & Shirley’ appear at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, September 9, 1979. Williams, who played Shirley opposite Marshall’s Laverne on the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley”. ,” she died Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Los Angeles at the age of 75, her family said Monday, Jan. 30. (AP Photo/George Brich, files)

via the Associated Press

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