Cindy Williams got a manager, an agent and her first television role at the same time

The actress created a legacy that started with one meeting.

Cindy Williams, the talented actress who played Shirley Feeney on the beloved sitcom Laverne & Shirley, worked hard before getting her legendary role. She attended Los Angeles City College, where she majored in theatre. After graduating, she started her professional career by landing national commercials for companies like the eyewear brand Foster Grant.

Once the actress got her first television role in Room 222 in 1969, many roles followed quickly after. In fact, between 1969-1975 (her debut and before the role on Laverne & Shirley), Williams had roles in 23 films and shows.

In an interview with The News Tribune in 1976, Williams revealed how she got her first television role as Rhoda Zagor/ Rita Zagor in Room 222. "[Gary Marshall] got me my first manager and agent," she said.

Williams was referring to Penny Marshall's brother. According to the article, Williams had no intentions of doing a series, and both actresses were paired together initially for a one-shot guest appearance on Happy Days in the fall of 1975. They collaborated as writers for a bicentennial movie spoof that never got off the ground.

Gary Marshall was a producer and creator with whom Williams had a long-time association and his projects. She remembered applying for her first job with a government-sponsored theatre project for "poverty-stricken aspiring actors with ethnic backgrounds."

"I figured I'm half Italian, and I'm poor," she added. This gave her the green light to apply, but she was quickly turned down. There was something good that came out of that rejection, though. Bud Freeman, a friend of Marshall's in charge of the theatre project, sent her to meet with him.

Williams walked out of the meeting with a manager, an agent and her first television role in Room 222. She appeared in three episodes and, in 1970, starred as Marissa in the film Gas-s-s-s. When Laverne & Shirley debuted in 1976, the actress became even more in demand, appearing on shows and films during the series and after.





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17 Comments

timothys71 16 months ago
I watched the special showing of Laverne and Shirley this afternoon (Feb 5) and really enjoyed it. I would love to get this show back in a regular slot on the MeTV schedule. Even better--pair it with Happy Days.
Yvette 16 months ago
Omg 🥺, I didn’t know Cindy Williams passed away. I saw her in Vegas a few yrs back in “Menopause The Musical”, she was still great! R.I.P Cindy Williams.
Lantern 16 months ago
What's the difference between a manager and an agent?
Yvette Lantern 16 months ago
I don’t know if ur joking or not but from what I’m told a manager manages you, ex; how u look, act, dress, in general conduct yourself. An agent puts you up for the parts, then boosts ur ego and tells you ur great even when ur lousy Lol 😂!
MrsPhilHarris 16 months ago
Room 222 is a show I wouldn’t mind watching on METV.
KJExpress MrsPhilHarris 16 months ago
I remember watching Room 222 as a kid. A few years ago I was given the first two seasons on DVD and it was so cool to see the show again after all that time. Unfortunately, the quality was not great and, apparently, the later seasons were not available. I'll have to check and see if they are now. 🤔
MrsPhilHarris KJExpress 16 months ago
I don’t remember much about it except the guy with the red fro and that I though Karen Valentine was so pretty.🤭
KJExpress MrsPhilHarris 16 months ago
The guy with the afro was Bernie. Lol. I remember being rather fascinated by that head of hair. 😆
MrsPhilHarris KJExpress 16 months ago
Same here! 🤣
KJExpress MrsPhilHarris 16 months ago
Too funny! His hair seemed to grow and grow, getting larger each season. 😯
MrsPhilHarris KJExpress 16 months ago
That’s exactly what happened. It just kept getting bigger.
LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Thank You MeTV for the 4 episodes added of Laverne and Shirley this Sunday 2/5/23.
LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Here is one part of an episodes Cindy Williams appeared in on Room 222.
From Season 2- Laura Fay You're Okay.

There is a link for the other on that videos page as it was a two-part episode.
Mblack LoveMETV22 16 months ago
She was them same age as Karen Valentine
THOMASTERRYJR Mblack 16 months ago
I remember watching Karen Valentine on one of those ABC Movie of the Week programs, "Coffee, Tea, or Me". I don't remember much of the movie but I did enjoy looking at Ms. Valentine. I wonder if MeTV could persuade her to do some on-air promotions for the programming they presently schedule?
LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Cindy Williams discussed her appearance on Room 222 in an interview.
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