Yesterday brought the sad news that actress and groundbreaking director Penny Marshall passed away at 75. Virtually everyone in Hollywood has come out to pay tribute to the League of Their Own director, including her former co-star, Cindy Williams. The actress who played Shirley Feeney to Penny’s Lorraine DeFazio left the show before it ended its run, but that didn’t mean the end of a friendship for these two schlemiels.
“What an extraordinary loss. My good friend, Penny Marshall is gone — one in a million,” she said in a statement to TODAY. “Utterly unique, a truly great talent. And, oh what fun we had! Can’t describe how I’ll miss her.”
Read on to learn more about what happened to Shirley of Laverne and Shirley and the life-long friendship these two comedy legends shared.
Cindy Williams, now 71, has had a somewhat less illustrious career than Penny, who went on to direct and produce some timeless comedies, like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Big, and A League of Their Own. But Cindy has definitely stayed busy since hanging up her hairnet at the Shotz Brewery.
What happened to Shirley’s character on Laverne and Shirley?
Folks who watched the show when it first aired — or caught reruns on TVLand growing up, might remember Shirley disappeared from the Happy Days spin-off in 1982, at the beginning of season 8. Her character marries a guy named Walter Meeney (making her Shirley Feeney Meeney) and the show went on with just Laverne and their friends.