MA Remembers A Terrific Comedic Talent
(Featured image photo courtesy of ABC-TV-e bay item photo front-photo back)
Massachusetts residents who were familiar with our unique generation of performers during television's hey day are once again mourning the loss of a lovable and charming lady who graced the small screen on ABC-TV for 7 seasons. We were entertained in high fashion by a unique pair of women who worked at Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Shotz Brewery as they always got into prats and pitfalls and showed us that the days of slapstick comedy were STILL strong on prime-time.
Sadly, we lost Cindy Williams this past week as audiences best knew her as Shirley Feeney who was teamed up with Laverne DeFazio (wonderfully portrayed by the late GREAT Penny Marshall). She was 75 years young. The duo appeared in a episode of "Happy Days" prior to when ABC decided to give them a series of their own. They double dated with Fonzie (Henry Winkler) and Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) and both characters resonated well with local and national audiences throughout the mid to late 1970's.
(Photo image of Cindy Williams courtesy of her Facebook fan page)
(Photo image of "American Graffiti" courtesy of www.amazon.com)
Ironically, Howard and Williams co-starred in one of my favorite films of ALL TIME, "American Graffiti". George Lucas put together a terrific ensemble cast as they portrayed Steve Bolander and Laurie Henderson in a relationship that was best described in one word: turbulent with plenty of ups and downs in the process. The film also introduced us to Harrison Ford in one of his first co-starring roles who was instrumental in adding fuel to the fire between this pair of high school sweethearts. She also appeared in the 1979 sequel "More American Graffiti" reprising her role as Laurie.
("The Conversation" DVD cover courtesy of www.amazon.com)
Another movie that showcased her talents was released a year later in 1974 as she was a woman under surveillance in "The Conversation". If you ask me, when seeing this film in the theater, I would have never known some of these elements would play out in real life. Dang the irony on that one!
Cindy also co-starred with "the epitome of COOL" Dean Martin in his last feature film "Mr. Ricco". This movie also introduces us to Philip Michael Thomas who was best known as Ricardo Tubbs, Don Johnson's partner in law enforcement on "Miami Vice".
Only three cast members of "LaVerne & Shirley are still with us: Michael McKean who was hilarious as their next door neighbor, Lenny and those scenes with his roommate, Squiggy (the late Dave Lander) brought us lots of laughs, Carole Ita White (LaVerne's high school foe, Rosie Greenbaum) and former "Hill Street Blues" co-star and NFL player Ed Marinaro (Sonny St. Jacques) will keep the tradition of this "Happy Days" sequel alive and well. the show also spawned a top 40 hit single by Cyndi Grecco in 1976 which became their theme every week: "Making Our Dreams Come True"
Cindy Williams was one of TV's sweethearts who we have all adored throughout her appearances on the small screen. I'm sure she is sharing a "milk & Pepsi" with Penny up in the skies above. Her memory will ALWAYS remain eternal and everlasting.
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