David Lander, 'Laverne and Shirley' Squiggy Actor, Dead at 73

David Lander, best known as Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley, died Friday at 73. The actor lived with multiple sclerosis for 37 years and died from complications with the disease. Lander passed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with his wife Kathy and daughter Natalie by his side.

Lander starred alongside Michael McKean as duo Lenny & Squiggy on Happy Days spin-off Laverne & Shirley for eight seasons, continuing a partnership they started during acting classes at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The duo would release an album as Lenny and the Squiqtones in 1979, and would later appear together in Steven Spielberg's 1941 and Robert Zemeckis' Used Cars. McKean posted a photo of the pair together on Twitter after the news broke, letting their work together speak for their legacy.

The actor's career stretch beyond Laverne & Shirley and Lenny & Squiggy. Before appearing on the Happy Days spin-off, Lander guest-starred on series like Barney Miller, Rhoda and Love, American Style. He would continue to appear in other roles over the years, including Married With Children, The Love Boat, Pacific Blue and Twin Peaks. Lander even had a run on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful in 1998.

He continued working despite his MS diagnosis, doing voice work for SpongeBob Squarepants and The Garfield Show in 2016. But acting was far from his only passion. Lander also spent time as a baseball talent scout with the Anaheim Angels and Seattle Mariners in 1997, and owned a small stake in the Portland Beavers minor league baseball team.

Lander also spoke out about multiple sclerosis after his diagnosis in 1984, finally going public with his struggle in 1999 and poking fun at the situation with his autobiography, Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody.


"When I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, there was nothing you could do about it. Doctors would say, 'diagnose and adios,'" Lander told Brain & Life magazine. "Now, there are many treatments available to control this progressive disease."

And despite the bleak outlook when he was first diagnosed, Lander kept a positive outlook through till the end. "Whatever happens, MS can't take it all. I will always have my heart and soul, my wit and wisdom," he told the outlet. "Wherever the chips may fall, if I fall with them I will make it a point to do so gracefully—and laughing." Rest in peace.