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Hollywood is in mourning today after it was revealed that Cindy Williams, who starred in the beloved 1970s sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” alongside the late Penny Marshall, passed away last week at the age of 75. Now, her former American Graffiti co-star Ron Howard is speaking out to pay tribute to her.

Williams Passes Away

The New York Post reported that Williams’ two children revealed on Monday night that their mother had passed away on January 25th after a brief illness.

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

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

Howard Honors Williams 

Howard, who starred with Williams in the classic 1973 film American Graffiti, has since spoken out to honor her memory. 

“I’m shocked because I hadn’t seen her for years and years,” Howard, 68, told People Magazine. “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.”

Even though it’s been fifty years since they made American Graffiti, working with Williams on it was an experience that Howard has never forgotten.

“In American Graffiti, she was 24 and I was 18, and I had my first kissing scenes with her, but they weren’t very romantic because she knew that she had this nervous kid on her hands and she had to take charge of the situation,” he recalled. 

“And so she was like, ‘Here’s how we got to kiss for the camera. Here’s what we have to do,'” he continued. “She’s always had almost a big sister energy around me.”

Williams’ acting skills were showcased so well in American Graffiti that she was nominated for a BAFTA, which is the British version of the Oscars, for her work on the film. 

‘We Had Terrific Acting Chemistry’

Howard worked with Williams quite a bit in the years that followed American Graffiti, given the fact that “Laverne & Shirley” was a spin-off of his sitcom “Happy Days.”

“We wound up over a period of about five years working together a lot, being cast in other comedies, in dramas,” Howard explained. “‘The Laverne & Shirley’ spinoff from ‘Happy Days,’ it was so interesting. We had terrific acting chemistry, but she always treated me like the kid.”

Howard concluded by revealing how he believes Williams would want to be remembered.

“She loved her work and her art and gave it everything that she had, and she also always found her way to put her stamp on what she was doing,” he said. “She really was dedicated creatively, and I took notice of that and tried to draw inspiration from it.”

“I think she’d like to be remembered for the variety of roles that she played,” Howard concluded. “Even though she was the most famous for Shirley…she also thought of herself as a character actress. I think she’d want people to think of her in that way.”

Related: Ron Howard Reveals What It Was Like To Work With John Wayne On His Last Movie

Tributes Pour In For Williams

Other tributes have been pouring in for Williams as well: 

Williams’ “Laverne & Shirley” co-star Penny Marshall was also 75 when she passed away back in 2018. While they will both be dearly missed, we can all draw comfort in knowing that they have been reunited in Heaven.

Rest in peace, Cindy Williams. 

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