(LOS ANGELES) — David Lander, best known for his role as Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman on the 1970s sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has died at age 73.
In a statement, his family confirmed Lander passed away Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center “after bravely fighting multiple sclerosis for several decades.”
Lander and fellow actor Michael McKean developed what would eventually become their fan favorite Laverne & Shirley characters, Lenny and Squiggy, as college students together at Carnegie Mellon University. They portrayed the goofball upstairs neighbors of the title characters, played by Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, for all eight seasons of the ABC sitcom, which ran from 1976 to 1983. Squiggy’s well-timed entrances, with his signature “Hello,” were a comedic staple on the show.
Lander and McKean also appeared together in Steven Spielberg’s 1979 war comedy 1941 and the 1980 Robert Zemeckis film Used Cars, and they both voiced characters in the Nickelodeon children’s series Oswald. In 1979, Lander and McKean released an album called Lenny & Squiggy Present Lenny and the Squigtones.
On Saturday, McKean posted a photo of the two from their younger days as a tribute to his friend.
In 1984, Lander was diagnosed with MS, but kept his diagnosis private. He eventually revealed his illness in his 1999 memoir, Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn’t Tell Nobody.
Over the course of his career, Lander logged 120 film and television credits, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A League of Their Own, and Scary Movie. His most recent credit was animation voice work for the Disney series Goldie and Bear in 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy Lander, and daughter Natalie Lander.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGLDZyY6ubA&w=640&h=360]
By Andrea Tuccillo
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