Flowers will be placed Tuesday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame star of actress Cindy Williams, forever remembered for her role as the upbeat Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne in the classic ABC sitcom “Laverne & Shirley.”
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which runs the Walk of Fame, will place the flowers in Williams’ memory at noon at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
Williams died last Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 75 following a brief illness, according to a family statement.
“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” according to the statement from Williams’ children, Zak and Emily Hudson.
“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.”
Born in Van Nuys, Williams began her career with commercial gigs, but made small appearances on various sitcoms before landing roles in films including Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation” and George Lucas’ “American Graffiti,” in which she played the girlfriend of actor Ron Howard’s character.
Friends and co-workers at Coppola’s production company, Williams and Marshall were tabbed by Marshall’s brother, Garry Marshall, to make a guest appearance on “Happy Days,” reuniting Williams with Howard.
Their guest roles portraying Shirley Feeney and Laverne DeFazio were so successful that Garry Marshall developed a spinoff titled “Laverne & Shirley,” which ran from 1976 to 1983. The pair portrayed roommates who worked at a Milwaukee brewery on the bottling line in the show that many remember for its opening sequence in which the duo skip along a street singing, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.”
Williams later appeared on Broadway in “The Drowsy Chaperone” and was in national touring companies of “Grease” and “Deathtrap.”
Later in life, she developed and performed in the one-woman nostalgia show “Me, Myself & Shirley.”
Howard expressed surprise at Williams’ death.
“I’m shocked because I hadn’t seen her for years and years,” Howard told People.com. “We connected at an event in Palm Springs [California] last year, and I was just so taken by how her intelligence, energy, and sense of humor … was still in high gear. And so it’s really a shock to imagine that spark is gone.”
Michael McKean, who played Lenny Kosnowski — half of the popular Lenny and Squiggy duo on “Laverne & Shirley” — shared his recollections of working with Williams.
“Backstage, Season 1: I’m offstage waiting for a cue. The script’s been a tough one, so we’re giving it 110% and the audience is having a great time. Cindy scoots by me to make her entrance and with a glorious grin, says: “Show’s cookin’!”. Amen. Thank you, Cindy,” McKean tweeted Monday.
Penny Marshall died in December 2018.