Penny Marshall's 'Laverne & Shirley' Co-Star Cindy Williams Pays Tribute to Her

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Penny Marshall's Laverne & Shirley co-star, Cindy Williams, has broken her silence on the beloved star's death.

Marshall died at her Hollywood Hills, California, home on Monday night, her rep told ET. Her cause of death was complications from diabetes.

In a statement to ET, 71-year-old Williams says, “What an extraordinary loss. My good friend, Penny Marshall is gone -- one in a million."

"Utterly unique, a truly great talent," the statement continues. "And, oh what fun we had! Can’t describe how I’ll miss her.”

Laverne & Shirley, a Happy Days spinoff, ran for eight seasons from 1976 to 1983. The sitcom starred Marshall and Williams as roommates Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney respectively, who worked as bottle-cappers at a brewery in late 1950s Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

ET spoke to Marshall in September 2012, when she addressed longtime rumors that she was feuding with Williams. 

"We get along great... I talked to her yesterday," Marshall shared at the time, adding that her admitted distaste for Williams' ex-husband (whom she felt was too controlling) likely fueled the rumors.

When ET spoke to Williams in January 2015, she also downplayed rumors that she didn't get along with Marshall on set.

"It's like an Italian family at a dinner table on Sunday and somebody doesn't pass the celery properly," Williams joked. "There’s always going to be arguments." 

"It was a show about happiness and in the end that was everyone's goal," she continued.

Since Marshall's death, multiple celebrities have taken to social media to pay tribute to her, including her ex-husband, Rob Reiner, and Tom Hanks, who starred in two of her biggest films -- Big and A League of Their Own. 

Meanwhile, Marshall’s family told ET in a statement, "Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall. Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family.  As an actress, her work on Laverne & Shirley broke ground featuring blue-collar women entertaining America in prime time. She was a comedic natural with a photographic memory and an instinct for slapstick."

"When Penny directed Tom Hanks in the movie Big she became a pioneer as the first woman in history to helm a film that grossed more than $100 million," the statement continues. "She did it again with A League of Their Own. She directed many stars including Geena Davis, Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Madonna, Denzel Washington, Rosie O’Donnell and Whitney Houston. She even gave Mark Wahlberg his first acting job. Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive 'L' on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story. We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”

For more on the star's legacy, watch the video below:


Penny Marshall the Director: Looking Back at Her Beloved Hollywood Legacy

How Penny Marshall Changed a Young Tom Hanks' Life and Career

Everything You Didn't Know About Penny Marshall

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