David Lander, Actor Who Played Squiggy on ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ Dies At 73
Actor David Lander, who was best known for co-starring as Squiggy in eight seasons of hit comedy series Laverne & Shirley, died Friday evening at age 73. For 40 years leading up to his passing, the actor had been battling multiple sclerosis, and he died due to complications from the disease.
Lander, born David Landau, was born and raised in Brooklyn, where he attended the famous High School of the Performing Arts and later attended Carnegie Mellon University. That was where he met his friend and longtime comedy partner Michael McKean, with whom he jetted off to Los Angeles to join comedy troupe The Credibility Gap.
Together, the pair created the characters Lenny and Squiggy, who would become household names in the late 1970s and 1980s. Leonard Kosnowski and Andrew Squiggman were the two wacky upstairs neighbors to Laverne DeFazio (played by Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (played by Cindy Williams), the main characters of the eponymous show, Laverne & Shirley.
Both comedians went on to appear in dozens of other films and TV shows. Lander appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Johnny Bravo, Superman: The Animated Series, SpongeBob SquarePants and many more.
Lander was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1984 and served as an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
When news broke of Lander’s passing, McKean uploaded an image of the two together from their early years.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) December 5, 2020
Other stars like Adam Sandler and Harry Shearer also chimed in with admiration and remembrances. Mark Hamill wrote, quoting McKean’s tweet, “He will be sorely missed. I’ll never forget how I nearly injured myself laughing when I first saw you guys in The Credibility Gap.”
Awful news. He will be sorely missed. I'll never forget how I nearly injured myself laughing when I first saw you guys in The Credibility Gap. Then came Lenny & Squiggy & the laughs just kept coming. I'll always be grateful for that. #RIPDavidLander https://t.co/fq6CACT8YY
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 5, 2020