David L. Lander, who played lovable but annoying Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley from 1976 to 1983 has died. He was 73. In addition to his memorable run on the Garry Marshall sitcom, Lander also played Marty Guthrie, Mike’s brother, on The Bold and the Beautiful for several episodes starting in late 1997.
David L. Lander Passes Away
TMZ reported Lander’s passing. The actor’s wife, Kathy, told the entertainment news site that Lander died on Friday at approximately 6:30 p.m. PT at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications from multiple sclerosis, which he had been battling for almost 40 years.
Lander was surrounded by his wife, their daughter Natalie and her husband when he passed away. Born on June 22, 1947, in Brooklyn, Lander’s birth name was David Leonard Lanau. He was educated at the High School for Performing Arts, Carnegie Tech, and NYU.
The actor amassed over 114 credits throughout his career. His first TV appearance was on the drama series Department S, which starred Joel Fabiani. His big break came when he was cast as Andrew ‘Squiggy’ Squiggman on Laverne & Shirley, a Happy Days spinoff in 1976. He appeared in 176 episodes of the popular series. Squiggy and his best pal Lenny (Michael McKean) were known for barging into Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley’s (Cindy Williams) apartment unannounced with Squiggy saying “Hello” in a tone that was both ingratiating and endearing.
Lander reprised Squiggy in two uncredited appearances on Saturday Night Live in 1994 and in 1996. In 1995, Lander and McKean joined Marshall and Williams for a documentary-style reunion in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary. Lander and McKean had actually met at Carnegie University in Pittsburgh where they developed the characters they played on the hit sitcom. The two worked on other projects together including Steven Spielberg’s 1941, Used Cars, and the animated series Oswald. Marshall also used him in her hit film A League of Their Own in 1992.
In 1999, Lander revealed his battle with MS in his autobiography, Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn’t Tell Nobody.
McKean posted on Twitter a photo of David L. Lander and himself to express his feelings on losing his friend and former co-star. Entertainment Hub sends condolences to Kathy, Natalie, other loved ones, and friends of David L. Lander at this difficult time.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) December 5, 2020