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Cindy Williams

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Basic Information

Cindy Williams

Date of Birth: 22 August 1947
Place of Birth: Van Nuys, California, USA
Birth Name: Cynthia Jane Williams
Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)


Cynthia Jane "Cindy" Williams (born August 22, 1947) is an American actress best known for starring in the television situation-comedy series Laverne & Shirley, in the role of "Shirley Feeney". Although praised for her portrayal of Shirley, she left the show after the 2nd episode of the show's eighth and final season. She is also known for her role as Laurie Henderson in the classic film American Graffiti.


Early life

Williams was born in Van Nuys, California, to John and Lillie Williams. She has a sister, Carol Ann Williams. She graduated from Birmingham High School. Among her classmates were philanthropist and financier Michael Milken and fellow actress Sally Field. Cindy also attended Los Angeles City College and went on to become a movie actress in the early 1970s. She has appeared in 19 movies.


After college, she began her professional career by landing national commercials, which included Foster Grant sunglasses and TWA. Her first roles in television, among others, were on Room 222, Nanny and the Professor and Love American Style.

Williams picked up important film roles early in her career: George Cukor's Travels with My Aunt (1972); as Ron Howard's high school sweetheart in George Lucas's American Graffiti (1973); and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974). She auditioned for Lucas's next project, Star Wars, but lost the role of Princess Leia to a younger actress, Carrie Fisher.

She portrayed the loyal and fun-loving brewery worker "Shirley Feeney" in the sitcom Laverne and Shirley. from 1976 until 1982. She left the show after she became pregnant with her first child. Later, she would star in the short-lived 1993-1994 sitcom Getting By. She also guest starred on several shows, including two episodes of the sitcom 8 Simple Rules.

Williams made a guest appearance on illusionist David Copperfield's first CBS TV special in 1978. She assisted Copperfield in the Zig Zag Girl and a length-wise sawing-in-half illusions.

Williams was executive producer on the successful Steve Martin comedy film Father of the Bride and its sequel.

In January 2007, her 2002 appearance on the Opie and Anthony radio show was replayed on XM Radio in a bit called has-been corner. According to the interview, she apparently was not aware of the title of the segment and was blindsided and annoyed by the "has-been" reference.

She has performed onstage in the national tours of Grease, Deathtrap and Moon Over Buffalo, and a regional production of Nunsense. She reunited with her L&S co-star Eddie Mekka in a November 2008 regional production of the Renée Taylor-Joseph Bologna comedy play It Had to Be You.

Williams made her Broadway debut as daffy "Mrs. Tottendale" in the cast of the award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone at the Marquis Theatre on December 11, 2007. Williams succeeded JoAnne Worley in the role originated by Georgia Engel.

A reality show called Penny and Cindy was in the works for TV Land. Gay Rosenthal Prods. is producing the project while Jim Vallely (The Golden Girls, Arrested Development) is the writer and executive producer.

Personal life

Williams was married to Bill Hudson of the musical trio Hudson Brothers in 1982, but the marriage ended in divorce in 2000. Together they have two children: Emily Hudson (born in 1982) and Zachary Hudson (born in 1986). She and her family reside in Los Angeles.


  • Gas-s-s-s (1971)
  • Drive, He Said (1971)
  • Beware! The Blob (1972)
  • Travels with My Aunt (1972)
  • The Killing Kind (1973)
  • American Graffiti (1973)
  • Hawaii 5-0 January 1974, season 6, #18. Secret Witness.
  • The Conversation (1974)
  • Mr. Ricco (1975)
  • The First Nudie Musical (1976)
  • More American Graffiti (1979)
  • Sois belle et tais-toi (1981) (documentary)
  • The Creature Wasn't Nice (1983)
  • UFOria (1985)
  • Big Man on Campus (1989)
  • Rude Awakening (1989)
  • Bingo (1991)
  • Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
  • The Biggest Fan (2002)
  • The Legend of William Tell (2006)
  • The Last Guy on Earth (2007)

Television work

  • The Funny Side (1971) (canceled after 3 months)
  • The Migrants (1974)
  • Laverne & Shirley (cast member from 1976-1982)
  • Laverne & Shirley in the Army (1981-1982) (voice)
  • The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour (1982-1983) (voice)
  • When Dreams Come True (1985)
  • Help Wanted: Kids (1986)
  • The Leftovers (1986)
  • Save the Dog! (1988)
  • Tricks of the Trade (1988)
  • Just Like Family (1989) (canceled after a few weeks)
  • Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen (1990)
  • Normal Life (1990) (canceled after 13 episodes)
  • Steel Magnolias (1990) (unsold pilot)
  • Menu for Murder (1990)
  • Earth Angel (1991)
  • Getting By (1993-1994)
  • Escape from Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story (1994)
  • The Stepford Husbands (1996)
  • Strip Mall (2000-2001)
  • Laverne & Shirley Together Again (2002)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2004) as Nora Hodges
  • Drive (2007)


  • She graduated from Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, CA and went to Los Angeles City College.
  • Before her marriage, was a sometime girlfriend/lover of the late Andy Kaufman.
  • Favorite actress is Debbie Reynolds.
  • Was on the bowling and volleyball teams in high school.
  • Went to school with Sally Field and Michael Ovitz at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California.
  • Has two children, Emily and Zachary.
  • Dated "Laverne & Shirley" (1976) co-star David L. Lander.
  • Wrote with Penny Marshall before acting with her.
  • She attended the "Hollywood Collectors & Celebrities Show" at Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn, in North Hollywood, California.
  • Ex-sister-in-law of Mark Hudson and Brett Hudson.
  • Ex-stepmother of Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson.
  • Sister of Carol Ann Williams.
  • Auditioned for the part of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
  • Co-starred with "Laverne & Shirley" (1976) cast member Eddie Mekka in a record-breaking tour of "Grease".
  • Best remembered as "Shirley Feeney" on "Laverne & Shirley" (1976).
  • Majored in theatre arts at Los Angeles City College.
  • In 2000, a senior research fellow at MIT, who also has the name Cindy Williams, wrote an op-ed article submitted to the Washington Post in which she questioned a proposed 25% pay raise for the military. Many people since then have incorrectly assumed that the person who wrote the article was the famous actress, and Cindy Williams the actress has been trying to correct that misconception ever since. She laments receiving criticism and even hate mail for something she never wrote.
  • Born at 4:35 PM (PST).
  • Former waitress at the House of Pancakes.
  • Was cited as one of the most promising movie personalities of 1973 in John Willis' 1974 Film Annual "Screen World" book.