Actress Cindy Williams of “Laverne & Shirley” Passes Away at Age 75
Cindy Williams, one of America’s most recognizable stars in the 1970s and 1980s for her role as Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the hit sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died, according to her family.
Williams died on Wednesday at 75 in Los Angeles after a brief illness, according to her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, in a statement released through family spokeswoman Liza Cranis.
“The death of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has left us with insurmountable sadness that can never truly be expressed,” the statement said. “Knowing and loving her has been both a joy and a privilege for us. She was one of a kind, beautiful, and generous, with a brilliant sense of humor and a sparkling spirit that everyone adored.”
Williams appeared in George Cukor’s 1972 “Travels With My Aunt,” George Lucas’ 1973 “American Graffiti,” and Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 “The Conversation” in a film career that preceded her full-time move to television.
But she was best known for “Laverne & Shirley,” a “Happy Days” spinoff that aired on ABC from 1976 to 1983 and was one of the most popular shows on television at the time.
On the show about a pair of blue-collar roommates who worked on the assembly line of a Milwaukee brewery in the 1950s and 1960s, Williams played the stern Shirley Feeney to Marshall’s more libertine Laverne DeFazio.
“They were well-liked characters,” Williams said to The Associated Press in 2002.
Feeney was naive and trusting, while DeFazio was quick-tempered and defensive. For plot inspiration, the actors looked to their own lives.
“At the start of each season, we’d make a list of what talents we had,” Marshall told the Associated Press in 2002. “We used Cindy’s ability to touch her tongue to her nose in the show. “I did some tap dancing.”
Williams told The Associated Press in 2013 that she and Marshall had “very different personalities” but that stories about the two clashing on set were “a bit overblown.”
With its self-empowering opening song, “Give us any chance, we’ll take it, read us any rule, we’ll break it,” the series was a rare network hit about working-class characters.
That scene would become as well-known as the show itself. Williams’ and Marshall’s chant of “schlemiel, schlimazel” as they skipped along became a cultural phenomenon and a source of nostalgia for many.
Penny Marshall died in 2018, along with his brother, Garry Marshall, who co-created the series.
Singing this song with so much gratitude for both of you ladies. Absolute gems. United again… Rest in Paradise Cindy Williams https://t.co/G9LVZfym0s
— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) January 31, 2023
On Tuesday, actress Rosario Dawson tweeted a video of the opening theme.
“Singing this song with so much love for both of you ladies,” Dawson wrote on Twitter. “These are absolute gems. Reunited once more… Cindy Williams, rest in peace.”
Lenny and Squiggy, Laverne and Shirley’s oddball hangers-on, were also played by Michael McKean and David Lander. Lander died in the year 2020.
McKean paid tribute to Cindy Williams on Twitter with a production memory.
“Season 1 Backstage: I’m offstage waiting for a cue. “The script was challenging, so we’re giving it our all, and the audience is having a great time,” McKean tweeted. “Cindy scoots past me to make her entrance and exclaims, ‘Show’s cookin’!’ Amen. Cindy, thank you.”
As the show’s ratings fell in the sixth season, the characters relocated from Milwaukee to Burbank, California, trading their brewery jobs for jobs at a department store.
Cindy Williams became pregnant in 1982 and requested that her working hours be reduced. She walked off the set when her demands were unmet and sued the production company. During the final season, she made only a few appearances.
Williams was born in 1947 as one of two sisters in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Van Nuys. Her family relocated to Dallas shortly after her birth, but she later returned to Los Angeles, where she pursued acting while attending Birmingham High School and majoring in theatre arts at LA City College.
Her television acting career began in 1969, with appearances on “Room 222,” “Nanny and the Professor,” and “Love, American Style.”
Her performance in George Lucas’ “American Graffiti” would become a defining role for her. The film foreshadowed the subsequent nostalgia boom for the 1950s and early 1960s. The following year, “Happy Days,” starring her “American Graffiti” co-star Ron Howard, would be released. Before they had their show, the characters of Laverne and Shirley appeared on TV as dates for Henry Winkler’s Fonzie.
Lucas also considered her for the role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars,” which was eventually filled by Carrie Fisher.
Williams has appeared in dozens of TV shows over the last three decades, including “7th Heaven,” “8 Simple Rules,” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” She and Marshall appeared in a “Laverne & Shirley” tribute episode of the Nickelodeon show “Sam and Cat” in 2013.
Last year, Williams performed “Me, Myself, and Shirley,” a one-woman stage show filled with stories from her career, at a theatre in Palm Springs, California, near her home in Desert Hot Springs.
From 1982 to 2000, Williams married singer Bill Hudson of the Hudson Brothers. Hudson raised her two children. He previously married Goldie Hawn and is the father of actress Kate Hudson.
Prince Harry in London for Privacy Lawsuits Against Daily Mail
Prince Harry made an unannounced appearance at the High Court in London on Monday morning, where a hearing is being held against the publisher of the Daily Mail. The newspaper is accused of allegedly gathering information from several celebrities illegally.
This hearing pertains to one of Prince Harry’s numerous lawsuits against the media. The expected duration is four days.
In the London court proceedings, the six plaintiffs accuse the publisher of employing detectives to wiretap them in their homes and vehicles.
Attorney David Sherborne stated, “They were the victims of numerous unlawful acts committed by the defendant or by those acting on the instructions of its newspapers, The Daily Mail and The Mail On Sunday.”
Sherborne stated that the allegations date back to 1993 and continue beyond 2018.
The publisher has denied the accusation. In October, it refuted “absolutely and unequivocally these preposterous smears that appear to be nothing more than a planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail’s headlines into the wiretapping scandal involving 30-year-old articles.”
The publisher stated that the claims are too old to be brought and should be dismissed because they are based on confidential information in newspapers provided in 2012 for an investigation into media law-breaking.
After revelations in 2011 that News of the World tabloid employees eavesdropped on the mobile phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians, and a teen murder victim, Britain conducted a yearlong investigation into press ethics.
More than sixty journalists were detained as a result of the scandal.
Prince Harry May Not Be Included In the Procession
The coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for May of this year, and whether his youngest son Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, will attend has been the subject of much speculation.
Leaked plans for the Coronation rehearsal indicate that Prince Harry will likely be on the sidelines if they are present at Westminster Abbey.
According to a report from The Times of London, there is no place for Harry and Meghan in the procession, even though they have been invited to the ceremony. The King’s brother, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, were excluded from the procession.
The procession is significantly smaller than at The Queen’s 1953 coronation, which was reportedly three times as large. Charles’ plans appear to be limited to “working” royals.
William, the eldest son of Charles, will participate in the procession alongside his wife, Kate Middleton. George, Charlotte, and Louis will accompany the Prince and Princess of Wales. In September, Louis was deemed too young to participate in the procession for the Queen’s funeral, but he will be included this spring.
The children of Meghan and Prince Harry, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, have not been invited to the Coronation. One may arrive later, but the ceremony is quickly approaching.
Early in March, the Sussexes confirmed that their representative had received an invitation, but a spokesperson added, “At this time, we will not disclose whether or not the Duke and Duchess will attend.”
The Sun reported that an anonymous source told the OK! magazine that “tense” negotiations are underway to determine whether or not Meghan and Harry will be there in May.
The alleged insider stated, “The Palace is attempting to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible because they cannot go to the wire.” “It could result in anarchy. It is possible that it will result in a stalemate and that they will not attend. However, the Palace is doing everything possible to prevent this from occurring.
The Palace is coordinating two separate schedules. One with the Sussexes and the other without. They wish to be ready for any contingency.”
Gwyneth Paltrow Ski Accuser Calls Utah Ski Crash ‘Serious Smack’
PARK CITY, Ute. The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow for a 2016 skiing accident at an upmarket Utah resort told a jury on Monday that the actress-turned-lifestyle blogger hit him from behind and sent him “absolutely flying.”
“All I could see was a lot of snow.” “And I didn’t see the sky, but I was flying,” said Terry Sanderson, 76, a retired optometrist, who described the impact as “a serious smack.”
That contradicts Paltrow’s testimony, and as the trial enters its second week, the jury has heard opposing tales. Sanderson, according to Paltrow, was uphill and hit her from behind. He’s suing her for over $300,000, claiming she skied carelessly and that the incident permanently damaged his personality.
Paltrow testified on Friday that Sanderson hit her gently from behind, but the incident worsened as the two went down the novice slope. She added that his skis went between her legs, causing her to fear as she heard a man sigh behind her. Paltrow appeared in court on Monday.
Sanderson remembered a screaming woman skidding out of control and slamming into him in the rear. Craig Ramon, another skier who claims to be the only eyewitness to the accident, testified last week that he witnessed Paltrow collide with Sanderson.
Regardless of who hit who, both parties agreed that the two fell, and Paltrow landed on top of Sanderson. Paltrow’s attorneys have challenged the extent of Sanderson’s injuries and post-crash disorientation, but both parties agree the impact resulted in four broken ribs and a concussion.
Sanderson was moved to tears several times during his testimony on Monday, especially when he appeared unable to focus or remember things.
The fancy mountain must be equipped with a helmet camera because they are commonplace at ski resorts
His legal team attempted to depict his bewilderment and memory lapses as evidence of brain injury. Paltrow’s lawyers used it to call into question his credibility as a witness.
Sanderson’s testimony also raised new concerns regarding the possibility of a GoPro helmet camera recording the crash. Though no video was shown in court, attorneys frequently questioned witnesses about an email one of his daughters sent that said, “I also can’t believe this is all on GoPro.”
Shae Herath that daughter said this week that her statements were speculative, implying that someone on the fancy mountain must be equipped with a helmet camera because they are commonplace at ski resorts.
Paltrow’s attorneys have continued to raise concerns about what happened to the footage Sanderson and his family members mentioned.
On Monday, it became evident that the potentially explosive evidence would not detonate.
Judge Kent Holmberg stated that online sleuths discovered the link, and its contents would be used as evidence. It didn’t include any GoPro footage. Instead, it was a conversation amongst Sanderson’s ski group members in which Ramon — the man claiming to be the crash’s lone eyewitness — stated that Paltrow had plowed into Sanderson on the day of the crash.
“Terry was struck unconscious. “That was a bad hit to the head!” Ramon penned a letter. “I saw the hit.” Terry had no idea what his name was.”
The exchange revealed that Ramon believed Paltrow collided with Sanderson years before any lawsuit was filed. It also demonstrates that Sanderson and those skiing with him recognized Paltrow as the woman in the collision.
Simulations of how they believed the collision occurred, with high enough clarity to depict trees, children’s ski jackets
Paltrow’s defense team had an equal opportunity to present their case after Sanderson’s counsel called witnesses for four and a half days. They brought one of her family’s four ski instructors to the stand on Monday afternoon. Attorneys indicated Monday that Paltrow’s two teenage children, Moses and Apple, would have their depositions read into the record later this week rather than testifying in court.
Jurors sat spellbound as Paltrow’s attorneys showed computer-animated simulations of how they believed the collision occurred, with high enough clarity to depict trees, children’s ski jackets, and different vantage points.
The defense called Eric Christiansen, a mustachioed 40-year experienced ski instructor teaching Paltrow’s family at Deer Valley Resort on the day of the crash, as their first witness. He claimed he was monitoring most of the mountain when Sanderson and Paltrow crashed and didn’t see the impact but did observe what transpired just before and after.
Christiansen said that Paltrow was doing “short radius turns” while Sanderson was skiing down the groomed run “edge to edge” and “quite dynamically” in testimony that veered into skiing technique instruction.
He recalled Paltrow landing on top of Sanderson because he approached and removed her skis, then Sanderson’s.
“I believe you told me once that if a soccer player takes out someone’s legs, they’re underneath,” Paltrow’s lawyer, Steve Owens, said as he questioned her about the accident.
Paltrow’s lawyers intend to call a slew of medical specialists to testify against the neurologists, radiologists, and psychologists recruited by Sanderson’s team.
The trial has also touched on wealthy people’s habits and interests, such as Sanderson and Paltrow, and the power — and burden — of notoriety. The amount of money at stake for both parties is modest compared to the standard legal costs of a multiyear case, expert witnesses, a private security detail, and high-resolution animation.
Throughout the first five days of the trial, much of the questioning focused on Sanderson’s reason for suing Paltrow. Her lawyers claim the case is an attempt by an “obsessed” individual to take advantage of Paltrow’s wealth and reputation. Sanderson’s lawyers have attempted to portray Paltrow as a carefree movie star who harmed an elderly man and cannot accept responsibility for the consequences.
“No one believed how serious my injuries were,” said Sanderson, who had previously enjoyed wine tasting and international travel. “There were numerous insults added to that single incident.”
SOURCE – (AP)
John Wick: Chapter 4 Ending
For fans, John Wick: Chapter 4’s conclusion was a surprise.
Wick defeats the evil Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard) in a dramatic duel, although he appears to be mortally wounded after taking one too many shots. He says the name of his late wife, “Helen,” who passed away in the first scene of the 2014 film John Wick. Winston (Ian McShane) stands at Wick’s grave in the movie’s concluding scene after he appears to pass away.
A fan approached the director Chad Stahelski and the star Keanu Reeves about the movie’s ending when it had just debuted at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival.
We got to make another movie due to Chapter Three’s audience response, and we wondered, “What was the Why?” Reeves appears to be referring to the main purpose of Chapter 4 when he says this. “And as Chad and I were chatting, the Why? Was death, namely the death of John Wick. John Wick the film aimed for him to find some measure of liberation or calm. Let’s do another one can’t be the only response. In essence, it was about death or a method of dying. ‘The Hagakure’ greatly inspired us.
And as Chad and I were chatting, the Why? Was death, namely the death of John Wick
Stahelski mentions that the Hagakure is a Japanese code of ethics. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai is devoted to its principles and calls itself “a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior.”
According to Stahelski, “we kind of took the way of dying — or the way we live well to die well — as the theme.”
When asked which sequence in the movie he liked best, Reeves cited Wick’s climactic exchange. “Maybe him at the end on the stairs,” he continues, “if I just looked at from [John’s perspective] John Wick.” “When he calls me Helen. After filming the [big fight on the other set of stairs] and about eight years into the job, that part was [a moving nod] to the past for me.
John Wick could have pulled it off earlier; why would he wait until the very end?
Stahelski had planned to film the fourth and fifth episodes back-to-back before the outbreak. Later, the filmmakers notified the media that they were waiting and watching. A post-credits scene provides the possibility for a spinoff centered on Rina Sawayama’s Akira and Caine, played by Donnie Yen.
While Reeves and Stahelski seemed pretty certain that Baba Yaga was dead, the editing of Chapter 4’s final moments leaves just enough room for interpretation (Wick isn’t explicitly shown dead) should the filmmakers choose to bring him back John Wick with a faked-his-own-death revelation. However, doing so would weaken the impact of the Chapter 4 ending and be illogical (if John Wick could have pulled it off earlier, why would he wait until the very end?
A prequel set before Wick retired to start a family is another option, should Reeves decide to take on the role again. However, this would need Wick to play a much younger version of the character than we’ve ever seen. Reeves was told by an SXSW audience member that he doesn’t appear to age, which is a blessing. Yeah, man, I get old,” Reeves said groggily. “Man, it’s happening.”
SOURCE – (HR)
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