Cindy Williams dies: Michael McKean, Rosario Dawson pay tribute


Hollywood is mourning the loss of comedian and “Laverne & Shirley” actor Cindy Williams, who has died at age 75.

The actor, known for portraying Shirley Feeney on the “Happy Days” spinoff died Wednesday after a brief illness, her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, announced in a statement shared with the Associated Press on Monday.

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

Hours after news of the actor’s death, Michael McKean, the last surviving star of “Laverne & Shirley,” paid tribute. In a statement shared with the Los Angeles Times on Monday evening, McKean said Williams “was so talented and so game.”

“When she and Penny [Marshall] were cooking there’s no one who could touch them,” he said. “She was a truly kind woman with a big heart and I’m very sad she’s gone.”

On social media, McKean — who starred as Lenny Kosnowski — shared a behind-the-scenes memory of his “Laverne & Shirley” co-star.

“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,” he tweeted. “Cindy scoots by me to make her entrance and with a glorious grin, says: ‘Show’s cookin’!’. Amen. Thank you, Cindy.”

Also paying tribute to Williams on Twitter were “Seinfeld” comedian Jason Alexander, Rosario Dawson and Jackie Hoffman.

“I did not know Cindy Williams but boy did I adore her work, especially the wacky joyful funny pleasure of watching her Laverne and Shirley days,” Alexander tweeted Monday. “I pray she had a good life and send my sympathy to those who knew and loved her. #RIPCindyWilliams

Dawson retweeted a video of the “Laverne & Shirley” theme song, which featured Williams and her late co-star Penny Marshall, who died in 2018 at age 75.

“Singing this song with so much gratitude for both of you ladies. Absolute gems. United again,” Dawson wrote. “Rest in Paradise Cindy Williams.”

Emmy-nominated “Feud” actor Hoffman said her work in “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” on Paramount+ would “serve as a prayer of gratitude to the late Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall.”

“The Mandalorian” actor Ming-Na Wen, Pluto TV, the National Comedy Center and Yvette Nicole Brown also paid tribute to Williams on social media Monday.

“Oh how I loved Cindy Williams. When I was blessed to meet her on the set of @TheOddCoupleCBS she was as lovely as I always imagined she’d be,” Brown said.

Williams was also known for the television series “Happy Days” “Normal Life” and “Getting By.”

Times deputy editor Maane Khatchatourian contributed to this report.

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