Shirley Feeney is one of the main characters on Laverne & Shirley who appears in 159 of the 178 episdoes of the series. The character was played by Cindy Williams, who also played the character in five guest appearances of its' parent TV series, ABC-TV's Happy Days.
Shirley is known for being a perky, somewhat bubbly one among the two, she and longtime friend Laverne, although in the girls' intial TV series appearance, in the episode of Happy Days titled "A Date with Fonzie", she was presented to be sassy and just as tough-talking, and tomboyish as friend Laverne.
Initally Shirley, like her best friend from childhood, Laverne DeFazio, seemed to speak with a more streetwise, Brooklyn tinged accent in their first appearance, this when she accidently socked blind date Richie (whom Fonzie, who was already good friends of the girls, had set up to go out on a date with him with the girls) when they stopped by his home, he came out of the kitchen with popcorn and refreshments, knocking him to the living room floor, this after still being upset after she and Laverne had a big argument (an almost knock-down, drag-out fight!) over who was going to stay with Richie at the Cunningham's and who was going up with Fonzie to his place for a nightcap!
As the characters moved on the Laverne & Shirley spinoff series, gradually during its first season, the writers toned down Shirley's character after several episodes in Season 1 (as they seemingly did with both of them), making her more reserved, and as if she actually was raised in Wisconsin, as they also presented her to be more feminine, considerably more strait-laced than before, and friend Laverne, and, at times, prudish, and as having another childhood "friend", a stuffed toy cat named "Boo-Boo Kitty", which she's slept with in bed at night since she was as small child.
She was born to a mostly seafaring absent merchant marine father. Jack Feeney (Scott Brady in the episode "Buddy, Can You Spare a Father?" in Season 2, episode #17), and his long estranged wife Lily Feeney (which was played by Pat Carroll in "Mother Knows Worst" in Season 1, episode #15), who reared she and her four brothers in Milwaukee (although (at least judging by the way she was presented to TV viewers in the girls' first Happy Days appearance) they may have lived in California, on the East Coast, numerous other places before her dad's deserting the family in Milwaukee) during their formative years.
Shirley worked alongside best friend and roommate Laverne, whom she's known since moving to Milwaukee as a child, as they attended high school together, and worked together as bottlecappers at Shotz Brewery there in Milwaukee, before packing up and moving to California, along with Laverne's dad Frank DeFazio and his new wife, Edna Babish, who was the landlord of the apartment building in which they shared an apartment together for 5 years.
Her other friends included Lenny, Squiggy, Shirley's boyfriend Carmine, Rhonda, and even good ole Rosie Greenbaum (although it's more of a "frenemy" relationship as she and Laverne often feud with each other). The same thing can be said about Laverne and Shirley's relationship with Rhonda Lee, a tall, blonde buxom actress/model whom they meet upon their move to Burbank.
The two, Laverne and Shirley soon would find jobs as gift wrappers at Bard's Department Store in Burbank, CA, where she continued to date her longtime boyfriend, and high school sweetheart, Carmine Ragusa, who also relocated with the girls, Frank and Edna, and Lenny and Squiggy. Having dated on and off for several years since high school, Shirley and Carmine began to have commitment issues as they contemplated getting enganged before breaking up after about a year and a half while in California.
Unlike her friend Laverne, who continued to lead the "single life", in dating a succession of boyfriends, Shirley winds up marrying an Army doctor named Walter Meaney, as she also becomes pregnant with their first child, and she leaves a note for Laverne that she was moving out of their apartment and going to live with her new husband on the Naval base where he's stationed.