Actress Cindy Williams, who played Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the popular US sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has died.

Williams died in Los Angeles on Wednesday aged 75 after a brief illness, her children Zak and Emily Hudson said in a statement released on Monday through family spokeswoman Liza Cranis.

Cindy Williams in a scene from the film ‘American Graffiti’, 1973.

“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” the statement 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 humour and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.”

Williams also starred in director George Lucas’ 1973 film American Graffiti and director Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation in 1974.

But she was by far best known for her role as Shirley Feeney in Laverne & Shirley, the Happy Days spinoff that ran from 1976 to 1983 that in its prime was among the most popular shows on TV.

Williams played the strait-laced Shirley to Marshall’s more libertine Laverne DeFazio on the show about a pair of roommates who worked at a Milwaukee bottling factory in the 1950s and 60s.

Marshall died in 2018.