Hollywood obits: Cindy Williams, Annie Wersching, Lisa Loring
Funeral services were pending Monday for actress Cindy Williams, forever remembered for her role as the upbeat Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne in the classic ABC sitcom “Laverne & Shirley.”
According to a family statement provided to The Associated Press, Williams died Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 75, following a brief illness.
“The passing of our kind, hilarious mother, Cindy Williams, has brought us insurmountable sadness that could never truly be expressed,” according to the statement from Williams’ children, Zak and Emily Hudson.
“Knowing and loving her has been our joy and privilege. She was one of a kind, beautiful, generous and possessed a brilliant sense of humor and a glittering spirit that everyone loved.”
Born in Van Nuys, Williams began her career with commercial gigs, but made small appearances on various sitcoms before landing roles in films including Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation” and George Lucas’ “American Graffiti,” in which she played the girlfriend of actor Ron Howard’s character.
A friend and co-worker of Penny Marshall at Coppola’s production company, Williams and Marshall were tabbed by Marshall’s brother — Garry Marshall — to make a guest appearance on “Happy Days,” reuniting Williams with Howard.
Their guest roles portraying Shirley Feeney and Laverne DeFazio were so successful that Garry Marshall developed a spinoff titled “Laverne & Shirley,” which ran from 1976 to 1983. The pair portrayed roommates who worked at a Milwaukee brewery on the bottling line in the show that many remember for its opening sequence in which the duo skip along a street singing, “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated.”
Williams later appeared on Broadway in “The Drowsy Chaperone” and was in national touring companies of “Grease” and “Deathtrap.”
Later in life, she developed and performed in the one-woman nostalgia show “Me, Myself & Shirley.”
Actress Annie Wersching, who played FBI agent Renee Walker in the television series “24,” has died after a battle with cancer. She was 45.
Wersching, who also provided the voice for Tess in the video game “The Last of Us,” died in Los Angeles on Sunday morning. The type of cancer she had was not specified.
Neil Druckman, the creator of “The Last of Us,” posted on Twitter, “We just lost a beautiful artist and human being. My heart is shattered. Thoughts are with her loved ones.”
Abigail Spencer, who appeared with Wersching in the science fiction series “Timeless,” tweeted, “We love you Annie Wersching. You will be deeply missed.”
Wersching was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She appeared in dozens of TV shows over two decades. She first appeared on “Star Trek: Enterprise” and had roles on “Bosch,” “The Vampire Diaries,” Marvel’s “Runaways,” “The Rookie” and “Star Trek: Picard.”
She was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, according to Deadline, and continued working.
She is survived by her husband, actor Stephen Full, and three sons.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support her family.
Funeral services were pending Monday for actress Lisa Loring, who played Wednesday on “The Addams Family” television series from 1964 to 1966 and died of a stroke at age 64.
Her daughter Vanessa Foumberg confirmed to Variety Loring died on Saturday.
“She went peacefully with both her daughters holding her hands,” Foumberg told Variety.
Friends posted on social media about Loring’s death.
Laurie Jacobson posted on Facebook that Loring “is in our hearts always as Wednesday Addams.” She wrote that Loring had suffered a massive stroke “brought on by smoking and high blood pressure.”
“Beautiful, kind, a loving mother, Lisa’s legacy in the world of entertainment is huge,” Jacobson wrote. “And the legacy for her family and friends — a wealth of humor, affection and love will long play in our memories. RIP, Lisa.”
Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on the TV show “The Munsters,” posted on Facebook, “Very sorry to hear of my friend Lisa Loring’s passing. We were very close and worked together often. I know she was very weak. I was in her company just a few weeks ago. Godspeed my friend.”
Loring appeared on the soap opera “As The World Turns” and on Phyllis Diller’s sitcom “The Pruitts of Southampton,” but she is best known for her childhood role as Wednesday Addams — a character that has enjoyed a resurgence in recent months with the success of the Netflix series “Wednesday,” featuring Jenna Ortega in the title role.
Loring started modeling when she was 3 years old and was cast in an episode of “Dr. Kildare.”
She made appearances on “The Girl from U.N.C.L.E,” “Fantasy Island” and “Barnaby Jones.” She played Cricket Montgomery in a recurring role on “As The World Turns” from 1980 to 1983.
She is survived by her daughters, Marianne and Vanessa.