“Dancing With the Stars” alums Donny and Marie Osmond reacted to the death of Cindy Williams.
The “Laverne & Shirley” star died on January 25, 2023, following a brief illness, The Hollywood Reporter reported on January 30, 2023. Williams played Shotz Brewery worker Shirley Feeney on the hit “Happy Days” spinoff for eight seasons. She was 75 years old at the time of her death and had recently wrapped a theater tour titled “Me, Myself & Shirley.”
Williams had a long career in Hollywood and was beloved by her co-stars. On social media, the “Dancing with the Stars” contestants, who worked with Williams multiple times, remembered the actress with tributes.
Marie Osmond Recalled Working With Cindy Williams
In an Instagram post shared shortly after Williams’ death was announced, DWTS alum Marie Osmond shared a photo of the two of them dressed in colorful outfits on the set of a TV show. Williams was a guest star on three episodes of Donny and Marie Osmond’s variety show, “Donny & Marie,” in the late 1970s, per IMDb, as well as “The Donny and Marie Christmas Special” in 1979. The photo was from one of those guest appearances.
“I have so many sweet memories with Cindy and I honestly loved every opportunity I had to work with her!” Osmond captioned the post. “Her comedic timing was impeccable and I loved how she always found the perfect way to connect with her audiences! What an incredible talent! Rest in peace my sweet friend.”
Donny Osmond Also Reacted to the Sad News
Marie Osmond’s brother posted a video from the same “Donny & Marie” sketch as he paid tribute to Williams.
“It was with great sadness when I read that Cindy Williams passed away,” the singer wrote. “Marie and I had the sincere pleasure of working with this very funny and talented lady on the Donny and Marie Show. Rest in peace, Cindy. We will miss you.”
In addition to the Osmond siblings, Williams also had ties to other DWTS contestants.
In 1973, she appeared in the film “American Graffiti” along with actress Suzanne Somers. A few years later, the two women would battle ABC separately for fair pay for their starring roles in “Laverne & Shirley” and “Three’s Company,” respectively, per Yahoo Life.
In 2015, Williams even referenced Somers and “Dancing with the Stars” when she rehearsed for a musical theater show with her former “Laverne & Shirley” co-star Eddie Mekka. “Tomorrow starts dance rehearsals w/ Eddie Mekka for Meshuggah-Nuns!” Williams tweeted at the time. “Hope we r as good as @TonyDovolani & @SuzanneSomers #DWTS.”
According to the Royal Oak Tribune, Williams played the Reverend Mother in the nun-themed show.
Cindy Williams Did a Famous Dance on ‘Laverne & Shirley’
While she never competed in “Dancing with the Stars,” Williams herself was part of one of the most famous TV “dances” of the 1970s. Fans may recall the opening sequence to “Laverne & Shirley,” which featured Williams and co-star Penny Marshall doing a little dance on the street as they did a “Schlemiel, Schlimazel” chant.
In 2016, Williams told Entertainment Tonight that the idea for the dance came from Marshall’s brother, Garry, who was the creator of the ABC sitcom.
“We were out on the lot at Paramount on New York street, and he said, ‘Penny, teach Cindy that little dance you did on the way to school with your chums,'” Williams told ET. “And he said action and we did it once, and I didn’t get it — the up and down, ‘Schlemiel! Schlimazel!’ — and so the second take I got it, and he said, ‘OK that’s good. We’re out of here.'”
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