Ron Howard mourns the passing of “American Graffiti” co-star and dear friend Cindy Williams

Our thoughts and prayers are with Ron Howard now after such a tragic loss. She was a wonderful woman, and we're sorry for your loss. Rest in peace.


The family of actress Cindy Williams shared the devastating news of her passing on January 25. The Laverne & Shirley star was 75 years of age and was said to have suffered illness for a short period of time.

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

“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.”

Williams’ career spanned six decades during which she treated her fans with memorable roles, the most prominent of all being the ones in Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley.

Other films she took part in are The Conversation (1974), Travels with My Aunt (1972), and, perhaps most notably, American Graffiti (1973), in which she starred alongside Ron Howard.

Howard and Williams weren’t just co-workers but also very close friends.

Williams’ passing was a huge blow for Howard. He shared his condolences and paid tribute to his friend, saying that the news came as a shock to him and the world of film.

“It was a shocker to hear of Cindy’s passing. I remember her life spark and her energy,” Howard said.

“I saw her last year in Palm Springs at an event and still saw that sparkle in her eyes. It’s so hard to imagine that she’s gone.”

Among the rest, he recalled that it was Williams who taught him how to kiss for his role in American Graffiti.

“For a period of about four or five years, we were cast together in various projects, including The Migrants — a dramatic TV movie — in 1974, based on a play by Tennessee Williams. We had a certain chemistry together. When we did American Graffiti, she was 24 and I was 18, but we played boyfriend and girlfriend,” he wrote.

“Cindy wanted to be remembered for her range of characters that she created — different tones and different styles. She admired Carol Burnett for these qualities. Cindy had so much talent and she settled for none of the ‘Hollywood traffic’ — she just did her work.”

Henry Winkler, another Hollywood star, also paid tribute to Williams.

“Cindy has been my friend and professional colleague since I met her on the set of Happy Days in 1975. Not once have I ever been in her presence when she wasn’t gracious, thoughtful and kind,” Winkler wrote.

“Cindy’s talent was limitless. There was not a genre she could not conquer. I am so glad I knew her.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy Williams’ family during this time of grief. May she rest in peace.

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