Stars React to Laverne & Shirley Star Cindy Williams' Death: She 'Brought Us So Much Joy'
Stars across Hollywood are mourning the loss of Cindy Williams.
On Monday, celebrities were quick to react to the news that the legendary actress, best known for her portrayal of the character Shirley Feeney on the sitcom Laverne & Shirley, had died at age 75.
Williams' children, Zak and Emily Hudson, confirmed her death in a statement through their family spokeswoman Liza Cranis, stating that their mother died last Wednesday following a brief illness.
"The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed," read the statement obtained by PEOPLE. "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."
"We have always been, and will remain, SO proud of her for many things… her lifelong mission to rescue animals, her prolific artistry, her faith, and most of all, her ability to make the world laugh!" they continued. "May that laughter continue in everyone, because she would want that. Thank you for loving our Mom, she loved you too."
Christopher Ameruoso Cindy Williams
RELATED: Laverne & Shirley Star Cindy Williams Dies at 75: 'A Glittering Spirit That Everyone Loved'
Shortly after, ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent Deborah Roberts reacted to the news, writing on Twitter: "Sad to hear of the passing of Cindy Williams who brought us so much joy and so many laughs as the sweet, upbeat Shirley on sitcom Laverne & Shirley years ago. She was 75."
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In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Suzanne Somers says: "I am deeply saddened by the unexpected death of my friend Cindy Williams."
"We go back a long way from the American Graffiti days to our glorious run of Tuesday nights sitcoms which bound us together for endless promotions. We laughed together again and again," she continues. "She had great joy, enormous talent and above all perfect timing. I will miss you, Cindy. RIP seems too soon."
Andrew Walker, who starred with Williams in one of her final performances in 2016's A Dream of Christmas, tells PEOPLE, "Cindy was a beautiful spirit and exactly how you'd imagine from her days on Laverne & Shirley. She brought a playful spunk to set every day, and I feel fortunate to have met and worked with her."
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown wrote on Twitter, "I hate this so much. I just hate it! 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. #Dammit"
I hate this so much. I just hate it! 💔 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. #Dammit #LaverneAndShirley Actor #CindyWilliams Dead at 75 https://t.co/Xw19icbpVL via @TMZ
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) January 31, 2023
Joely Fisher reshared a video of Laverne & Shirley's opening credits and wrote beside it, "Oh Shirl," referring to Williams' iconic character with three aching hearts. She also added "#RIPLegend" in her tweet.
Rosario Dawson also shared a video of the opening credits and tweeted, "Singing this song with so much gratitude for both of you ladies. Absolute gems. United again… Rest in Paradise Cindy Williams"
Singing this song with so much gratitude for both of you ladies. Absolute gems. United again… Rest in Paradise Cindy Williams https://t.co/G9LVZfym0s
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) January 31, 2023
RELATED: In Their Own Words: Laverne & Shirley's Penny Marshall & Cindy Williams on Their 'Very Close' Bond
Seinfeld alum Jason Alexander wrote of the actress's death: "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. I pray she had a good life and send my sympathy to those who knew and loved her. #RIPCindyWilliams"
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. I pray she had a good life and send my sympathy to those who knew and loved her. #RIPCindyWilliams
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) January 31, 2023
The Mandalorian's Ming Na Wen wrote: "Loved #LaverneandShirley! Knew that opening so well. RIP #cindywilliams. Condolences to her loved ones."
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Williams was best known for her role on Laverne & Shirley, which ran from 1976 to 1983 and was one of ABC's most popular sitcoms at the time. The series was born out of an episode of Happy Days in 1975, in which Williams portrayed Shirley and Penny Marshall played Laverne DeFazio.
The pair were one of the best-known duos on television, but the costars also formed a close bond that extended beyond the cameras — and they often spoke about that special connection.
Besides Laverne & Shirley, Williams also was well-known for film roles such as George Lucas' 1973 American Graffiti and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation from 1974.
Williams also lit up the stage, with theater credits including Death Trap, Nunsense, Grease, Menopause the Musical, Middletown, The Female OddCouple, and a Broadway turn on The Drowsy Chaperone.
Additionally, Williams spearheaded a one-woman show, Me, Myself and Shirley; and wrote a book: Shirley I Jest: A Storied Life.
On the actress's website, which detailed her current projects as well as houses archival footage and photos, a simple note was added to mark her birth and death years.
"Cindy lit up our lives with laughter," it states.