Cindy Williams had other roles before 1976: A bit part in "The Blob" and an introduction to acting in "Room 222." Her first step to fame was a movie in which she tap-danced with Gene Kelly, and her breakthrough role came as Ron Howard's girlfriend in 1973's "American Graffiti."
But she, along with the sister of one of the show's producers, Penny Marshall, helped define television from 1975 to 1983 on the ABC sitcom "Laverne & Shirley." A spinoff from the popular "Happy Days," the series featured Williams' Shirley Feeney, a bottle-cap assembly line worker at Milwaukee's Shotz Brewery, and her roommate Laverne De Fazio. The show also boasted one of the most recognizable theme songs ever.
Off screen things were not as sunny, as Williams reportedly filed a $20 million lawsuit against Garry Marshall and Paramount Pictures when she became pregnant and believed that the show had breached her contract by not writing the pregnancy into the script. The show ended soon after Williams left.
Williams later served as associate producer of the 1991 hit film comedy "Father of the Bride" with Steve Martin, and in 2007 she joined the cast of the Broadway musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.” In 2008, she starred in a new production of the Broadway comedy "It Had to Be You" with her onetime "Laverne & Shirley" costar, Eddie Mekka.