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Ron Howard Breaks His Silence On Tragic Death Of Co-Star Cindy Williams

Nicki Swift 2/1/2023 Devin Herenda
Ron Howard posing © Ovidiu Hrubaru/Shutterstock Ron Howard posing

Ron Howard is speaking publicly about the tragic death of his former costar Cindy Williams. In 1973, Howard and Williams acted opposite each other as Steve Bolander and Laurie Henderson in the George Lucas film "American Graffiti." In addition, before Williams portrayed Shirley Feeney in "Laverne & Shirley," she played the character in another hit show starring Howard, "Happy Days." Howard also played Richie Cunningham on two episodes of "Laverne & Shirley."

The Associated Press reported on January 31 that Williams had died at the age of 75 following a brief illness. This was revealed by Williams' children, Zak and Emily Hudson, who released a statement through a spokesperson commenting on the devastating loss. "The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed," they 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 humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved." Now, Howard is discussing the death of his past colleague.

Ron Howard Is 'Shocked' By The Death Of Cindy Williams

Cindy Williams and Ron Howard in © YouTube/Universal Pictures Cindy Williams and Ron Howard in

Ron Howard is speaking out after Cindy Williams' death. On January 30, Howard talked to People about his surprise over the passing of Williams, whom he hadn't seen in a while before last encountering her in 2022. "I'm shocked because I hadn't seen her for years and years," Howard said of Williams. "We connected at an event in Palm Springs [California] last year, and I was just so taken by how her intelligence, energy, and sense of humor ... was still in high gear. And so it's really a shock to imagine that spark is gone." Howard also shared that he was just 18 and Williams was 24 when they worked together for "American Graffiti," so Williams "always had almost a big sister energy" around him.

Howard also spoke to Access Hollywood on January 31 and described Williams' intelligence and hardworking nature. "Cindy was just, I mean, whip smart -- tremendous sense of humor but great work ethic, really dedicated to getting it right," Howard said. When asked how he thinks the "Laverne & Shirley" star would want people to remember her, Howard said, "She would want people to remember Shirley and that show, but she'd also want people to take a minute and recognize all the other kinds of characters that she so successfully created. I think she'd like to be remembered in that way and not too seriously."

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