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Why ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star Cindy Williams Quit The Show And Sued For $20 Million

"Laverne & Shirley" star Cindy Williams has revealed why she quit the popular show and then sued Paramount Studios for $20 million.

“Laverne & Shirley” is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, running from 1976 to 1983. Though it is still beloved by fans to this day, many of them don’t know that there was some major drama behind the scenes involving Cindy Williams who played Shirley. 

History Of ‘Laverne And Shirley’

Cindy Williams spent eight seasons starring as Shirley alongside Penny Marshall’s Laverne.

In newly surfaced interviews, Williams finally revealed why she decided to quit the popular sitcom and then sue the studio for a whopping $20 million!

Laverne DeFazio (Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Williams) were initially introduced on the show “Happy Days” as acquaintances of Arthur Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler).

The two women were such a hit with audiences that the studio decided to give them their own show, which was great for Williams, who was just happy to have a job at that time.

“I thought, great, I’m going to get to stay in town, not have to move out of town, which I was going to do, and I’ve got my rent for the next year,” she told ABC in 2012. 

By its third season, “Laverne & Shirley” was the most watched show on television, and it was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and two Golden Globes in 1979.

Related: Penny Marshall of ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Fame Passes Away

Cindy Williams Gets Pregnant

All was going well until season seven of the show, when Williams became pregnant with her first child.

She had hoped that the production side of the show would help her hide her growing belly with props and costumes when she came back for season eight, but she ended up bitterly disappointed.

“I thought I was going to come back and they’d hide [my baby bump] behind benches, couches, pillows, and that wasn’t it,” Williams told Today in 2015.

When it came time for Williams to renew her contract, she was stunned to find that studio executives wanted her to work on her actual delivery date!

“When it came time for me to sign my contract for that season, they had me working on my due date to have my baby,” Williams recounted.

“And I said, ‘You know, I can’t sign this.’ And it went back and forth and back and forth and it just never got worked out.”

Related: The 40 Best Classic TV Shows We Miss Dearly

Cindy Williams Quits ‘Laverne & Shirley’

Williams ended up deciding to quit “Laverne & Shirley” and immediately sued Paramount and producer Garry Marshall for $20 million. The lawsuit was later settled for an undisclosed amount, according to Cheat Sheet

Executives tried to continue the show without Williams, but it just didn’t work without Shirley, so the show quietly came to an end after season eight.

While the drama between Cindy Williams and Paramount Studios is certainly unfortunate, it doesn’t change the fact that “Laverne & Shirley” is still one of the most hilarious and iconic shows of all time. 

This is definitely one of the shows that we miss the most. So to satisfy your “Laverne & Shirley” itch, here’s a video of the show’s iconic theme song. Enjoy!

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