Local man reunites with actress Cindy Williams

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Apr. 12—HIGH POINT — Edward Burlando may have brought Cindy Williams roses Sunday evening, but he also brought her a bouquet of memories.

"Oh, yes, he and I were in a couple of shows together in college," the "Laverne & Shirley" star said by phone Monday. "I believe we did 'Oklahoma!' and 'Dark of the Moon' together. I remember him, and it was a pleasure to see him again. We had a nice little chat together."

In fact, Burlando points out, he and Williams got married in the "Oklahoma!" production, with him playing Ali Hakim to her Gertie Cummings.

Williams, best-known for her roles in "Laverne & Shirley" and "American Graffiti," was in town over the weekend for her one-woman show, "Me, Myself & Shirley," which was presented Sunday afternoon and evening at the High Point Theatre.

Burlando, who lives in Greensboro but worked in High Point for years, studied acting — and shared the stage — with Williams half a century ago, when they were theater arts classmates at Los Angeles City College. When he learned Williams would be in High Point, he bought a ticket and made plans to surprise her with roses after the show.

Burlando, 78, said the last time he saw Williams was in 1976 in New York City, when he was her guest to see the East Coast premiere of her film, "The First Nudie Musical."

That was also about the time "Laverne & Shirley" made its television debut, propelling Williams to stardom as the irrepressible Shirley Feeney.

"What you see in 'Laverne & Shirley,' that was Cindy at her best," Burlando said. "Physical comedy was her forte."

Burlando, who is now retired, waited tables in High Point for years and later taught etiquette at High Point University, earning the nickname "Sir Edward" for his proper decorum and manners.

"He seems to have endeared himself to the community — I'm happy for him," Williams said. "And it was nice seeing him again. You don't forget someone like Sir Edward."

jtomlin@hpenews.com — 336-888-3579

jtomlin@hpenews.com — 336-888-3579