The time Cindy Williams talked ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ ‘Happy Days’ and getting lost in NJ with Ron Howard
Cindy Williams passed away Monday at the age of 75 after a brief illness. She's best known for her role as Shirley from the hit sitcom "Laverne & Shirley," which ran from 1967-83.
In April, Williams came on my New Jersey 101.5 show to promote her "Me Myself And Shirley" show at the Buck County Playhouse, which ran from April 23-24. She was so much fun to talk to and as someone who started watching her in Francis Ford Coppola's "American Graffiti," then "Happy Days" and of course "Laverne & Shirley," it was like hanging with an old friend.
Of course, the cool thing about catching up with old friends is finding out what really happened back in the day, or in this case the "Happy Days."
"Happy Days was very happy, they were just a wonderful cast, a wonderful team," said Williams.
It was on that show where she got to deck her American Grafitti costar Ron Howard in an episode.
"Ron talks about that with great pride," says Williams. "We only did it once. He always talks about how that punch looks so real."
Williams also told the story of how she and Howard got lost somewhere in South Jersey.
"We were doing a movie of the week called 'The Migrants' with Cloris Leachman and Ed Lauter, and we got the van one night having the day off. Ron and I wanted to go for a drive because we'd never been to New Jersey. Sissy Spacek wanted to go but she was tired and sat in the back and laid down."
"We headed toward Atlantic City," says Williams. "We ended up in a place called the 'LaBue Lodge.' We were totally mesmerized by that. Then we figured we better get back home and we quickly got lost."
"So, we're out in the woods it seemed like and we find this bar and these guys come shooting out of the door they're having this big argument," says Williams. "All we wanted to do was ask for directions back to Vineland."
"We both got out of the car and we asked as innocently as we could and we said, 'Excuse us, could you please tell us how to get back to Vineland?'"
"And they stopped their little fistfight and told us, 'You go out here, you make a left, and then you make a jughandle at the first turn.' And we're nodding our heads and we get back in the car pulling out of the parking lot and Ron turns to me and asks, 'So what's a jughandle?'"
And no conversation with Cindy Williams would be complete without talking Penny Marshall and "Laverne & Shirley."
"Penny (Marshall) and I are both Italian and we locked horns now and then. They (Happy Days) were right next door to us and they did this one thing at a cast party where they filmed the cast of Happy Days putting their ears up to the door to listen to Penny and I squabble."
Schlameel and Schlamazzle together again. RIP Shirley.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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