The star of one of the most iconic sitcoms ever, Cindy Williams, died at age 75 today. She died in Los Angeles after a brief illness, her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, said in a statement released Monday.
The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, 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 humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.
She really kickstarted her career with Travels With My Aunt in 1972 but really kicked her career off in American Graffiti in 1973 as Ron Howard‘s girlfriend in the movie. She then starred in The Conversation from Francis Ford Coppola. Both movies were nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
The next step in her career would help launch her to sitcom royalty with a turn on Happy Days. Fonzy recruited Penny Marshall and her for a double date with Richie Cunningham on the show. That pair showed chemistry like no other.
From there, we got Laverne and Shirley, one of the most successful spinoffs in TV history. It debuted at No. 1 in the ratings in 1976 and became one of the highest-rated series in the late ’70s.
At the end of her tenure on the series, there was controversy when she became pregnant, and her due date was set during the filming. Paramount decided against using her while she was pregnant. In 1982 she sued Paramount for $20 million, seeking pay for her missed episodes.
She’s survived by her children, Zak and Emily.
Join us in celebrating the career and life of Cindy Williams.
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