Actor David Lander, best known for his role as Squiggy in the long-running TV sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died at age 73.
His wife, Kathy Fields Lander, confirmed the news of his death to the Associated Press.
Lander died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications related to multiple sclerosis, which he has been battling for nearly 40 years. He was surrounded by his wife, daughter and son-in-law.
“It was very peaceful,” Fields Lander told the Associated Press. “He had a tough battle with MS for 37 years and he persevered like no one I have ever seen, and it taught me a great deal about the important things of life.”
The actor has worked closely with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society after going public with his diagnosis in 1999, opening up about his experience with the disease during conferences.
Lander became widely known for playing Squiggy in “Laverne & Shirley” from 1976 to 1983. Actor Michael McKean, who played “Lenny” on the show, shared a throwback photo of him and Lander on Twitter after the news of his death started trending on the social media platform.
The two met at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and they developed both characters while they were still college students. After teaming up with McKean, they both moved to Los Angeles and joined the comedy ensemble The Credibility Gap.
Both of them also appeared in Steven Spielberg’s film “1941” as well as “Used Cars,” starring Kurt Russell, and worked as voice actors for the animated TV series “Oswald.”
Lander is also known for being the voice behind Smart Ass, one of the animated characters in the 1988 Disney movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Most recently he voiced Rumpelstiltskin in Disney’s children’s show, “Goldie & Bear,” and Donnie the Shark in an episode of “SpongeBob Squarepants” in 2016.
Lander was born on June 22, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, their daughter, Natalie and her husband.