Ron Howard paid a touching tribute to “Laverne & Shirley” star Cindy Williams, who died at the age of 75

Cindy Williams, the star of “Laverne & Shirley,” died last week at the age of 75, and Ron Howard is paying homage to her.

Cindy Williams, who co-starred in the iconic 1970s comedy “Laverne & Shirley” with the late Penny Marshall, died last week at the age of 75, leaving Hollywood in sadness. Her former American Graffiti co-star Ron Howard has now spoken out with respect for her.

According to the New York Post, Williams’ two daughters disclosed on Monday night that their mother died on January 25th following a brief illness.

“The loss of our wonderful, humorous mother, Cindy Williams, has left us with immeasurable pain that can never properly be described,” they said. “Knowing and loving her has been both a delight and an honor for us.”

“She was one of a kind, gorgeous, giving, and possessed a wonderful sense of humor and a dazzling soul that everyone adored,” they ended in their statement.

Howard, who co-starred with Williams in the 1973 classic American Graffiti, has already come out in her praise.

“I’m surprised since I haven’t seen her in years,” Howard, 68, told People Magazine. “We bonded at an event in Palm Springs [California] last year, and I was just so impressed by how her brilliance, enthusiasm, and sense of humor… were still in high gear.” “And it’s a great shock to think that spark is no longer there.”

Even though it’s been fifty years since they created American Graffiti, Howard will never forget working with Williams on it.

“She was 24 and I was 18, and I had my first kissing moments with her in American Graffiti, but they weren’t really romantic because she realized she had this anxious youngster on her hands and she had to take care of the situation,” he remembered.

“And she was like, “This is how we got to kiss for the camera,” he continued.”She’s always had a big sister vibe about me.”

Williams’ acting skills were so well shown in American Graffiti that she was nominated for a BAFTA, which is the British Oscar. 

Given that “Laverne & Shirley” was a spin-off of Howard’s comedy “Happy Days,” Howard worked with Williams a lot in the years after American Graffiti.

“We finished up working together a lot over a period of roughly five years, being cast in various comedies and dramas,” Howard added. “The Laverne and Shirley” offshoot from “Happy Days” was fascinating. “We had great on-screen chemistry, but she always treated me like a kid.”

Howard finished by expressing his thoughts on how he feels Williams would like to be remembered.

“She loved her job and her art and gave them everything she had, and she always found a way to stamp her mark on what she was doing,” he added. “She was really creatively driven, and I took note of that and attempted to take inspiration from it.”

“I think she’d prefer to be recognized for the breadth of her roles,” Howard said. “Even though she was best known for Shirley… she saw herself as a character actor.”I believe she would prefer that people remember her in that light.”

Other tributes to Williams have also poured in:

Penny Marshall, Williams’ “Laverne & Shirley” co-star, died in 2018 at the age of 75. While they will both be missed, we can all take solace in the fact that they have been reunited in Heaven.

Rest in peace, Cindy Williams.

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