Upon graduating from LA City College, petite brunette actress Cindy Williams sought out and found stage and film work, supporting herself as a waitress between engagements. In films from 1970, Williams earned critical and popular plaudits for her work as Ron Howard's girlfriend in American Graffiti (1973) and as a highly unlikely murderess in The Conversation (1974). Her musical comedy prowess was shown off to excellent advantage in the better-than-it-sounds The First Nudie Musical (1975). In 1976, Williams signed to star as eternally optimistic brewery worker Shirley Feeney in the blue-collar sitcom Laverne and Shirley (1976-83). The series proved to be a smash, winning its Tuesday night timeslot for several seasons. Married to comedian Bill Hudson, Williams became pregnant in 1982, a circumstance that was hastily written into the program. Feeling that the L & S producers were using her pregnancy as an excuse to ease her off the series, she stormed off the set permanently, filing a $20,000,000 lawsuit against Paramount Pictures. Williams' later TV-series credits have included Normal Life and Just Getting By. Increasingly active on the business end of show business, Cindy Williams served as co-producer of the two Father of the Bride films of the 1990s.
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by Hal Erickson biography