“I’d always hoped that a part would come along that I could cast her in and we can sort of complete this cycle of working together," said Howard.
Director Ron Howard is lamenting a missed opportunity of working with his old friend Cindy Williams nearly a week after she died. The Oscar-winning filmmaker told the Los Angeles Times that his American Graffiti co-star’s death is going to “leave a little void” and shared that he wanted to collaborate with the Laverne & Shirley actor again.
“I’d always hoped that a part would come along that I could cast her in and we can sort of complete this cycle of working together in our careers with me behind the camera, and the right role never came along,” he said. He added, “I always assumed it would, and it makes me a little sad to know that we’ll never have that chance.”
Williams,75, died in Los Angeles on January 25. She first worked with Howard on George Lucas‘ American Graffiti. They portrayed the role of teenagers who were in love with each other in the 1973 film, and in the following years, they both appeared on the TV series Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Love, American Style. Howard told the LA Times that he wanted to cast Williams in a role that highlighted her “complexity and range.”
The A Beautiful Mind director said, “I would have tried to find something, a character full of surprises where you kind of think she’s one thing and it turns out there’s more than you might have guessed,” he said. “I think she had the capacity to shift gears and tones on a dime. I was always looking for something where I had a character where I could take advantage of that.”
Howard appreciated Williams for her talent, honesty, graciousness, authenticity, professionalism, and her work ethic. He said, “I saw in Cindy a first glimpse of this new generation of a woman asserting herself and her potential to have creative control over the work that she was doing.” He added, “She was quiet about it. She was polite about it. She was civil but committed to asserting herself in that way, and that was impressive to me.”
Although he never got a chance to work with her again. He said that she leaves behind years’ worth of memorable performances. “We as fans and those who worked with her know that she had many moments that will stand the test of time,” he said, adding “whether that’s in drama or the brilliant physical comedies that she and Penny Marshall created together."
I did not know Cindy Williams but boy did I adore her work, especially the wacky joyful funny pleasure of watching her Laverne and Shirley days. I pray she had a good life and send my sympathy to those who knew and loved her. #RIPCindyWilliams— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) January 31, 2023
Other people from the industry are also mourning William's loss. Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander tweeted, “I did not know Cindy Williams but boy did I adore her work, especially the wacky joyful funny pleasure of watching her Laverne and Shirley days.” While Writer Art Tavana tweeted, “RIP, Cindy Williams, who I remember first as Laurie in American Graffiti (1973), who stole our hearts and defied the caricature of the ’60s California girl at a sock hop. She was so much more. I will miss her.”
Williams has passed away but she has left behind a plethora of memorable performances that will always be remembered.
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Jamie McCarthy; (R) Getty Images | Valerie Macon