Cindy Williams Dead: ‘Happy Days’ & ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star Dies At 75

Cindy Williams' children, Zak and Emily Hudson, announced her death, which took place on Jan. 25, after a brief illness.

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Cindy Williams, who portrayed the iconic role of Shirley Feeney on Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley has died at the age of 75. The legendary actress’ death was caused by a brief illness and announced by her children, Zak Hudson and Emily Hudson, on Monday. Her passing took place in Los Angeles, CA on Jan. 25.

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” Zak and Emily told the Associated Press in a 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.”

Cindy Williams
Cindy Williams died at the age of 75 on Jan. 25. (Everett Collection)

The sad news was also posted on Cindy’s official website along with a tribute that included a smiling photo of her. “Cindy lit up our lives with laughter,” a part of the tribute read. A biography on the website also reflected on Cindy’s life, including her successful work in the acting world, which included not only television, but theater productions and films as well.

Cindy’s passing comes just four years after the passing of her co-star Penny Marshall, who played the epic role of Laverne in Laverne & Shirley. The show, which was a spinoff of Happy Days, became a much loved sitcom and told the story of two friends/roommates who worked as bottle-cappers in the fictional Shotz Brewery in the 1950s. It aired from 1976 until 1983.

Cindy Williams, Penny Marshall
Penny Marshall as Laverne and Cindy as Shirley. (Everett Collection)

In 2013, Penny and Cindy reunited for an appearance in an episode of the television series Sam & Cat. In the last few years of her life, Cindy also published a memoir called Shirley, I Jest!, which was published in 2015. She also took part in celebrity branding for Visiting Angels, a senior citizen service that homes and assists the elderly. Cindy was not married at the time of her death and is survived by her two children, Zak and Emily, who she shared with ex-husband Bill Hudson.