HomeNewsDavid Lander, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star, Dead at 73

David Lander, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star, Dead at 73

by Jennifer Shea
David Livingston/Getty Images

David Lander, who played Squiggy on “Laverne & Shirley,” has died at age 73 of complications from multiple sclerosis.

Lander Died With Family By His Side

Lander’s wife Kathy confirmed his death at about 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, TMZ reports. Kathy, their daughter Natalie and Natalie’s husband were present at the hospital for Lander’s passing.

Lander was born David Leonard Landau, according to IMDB. His first marriage, to Thea Markus, ended in divorce.

The actor was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1984, but he kept his condition a secret for the next decade and a half. He ultimately wrote a book, “Fall Down Laughing,” about coping with multiple sclerosis. The book came out in 2000.

On “Laverne & Shirley,” he acted alongside Michael McKean, who he met at Carnegie Mellon University when the two were young. The show aired from 1976 to 1983.

More recently, Lander had appeared in films ranging from “Dr. Dolittle 2” to “Christmas with the Kranks,” and TV shows such as “The Garfield Show” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

A Baseball Fanatic

He was also a huge baseball fan who worked as a scout for the Anaheim Angels starting in 1997. He later became a scout for the Seattle Mariners.

Lander told Neil Cavuto in 2004 that there are fewer misconceptions about multiple sclerosis nowadays compared to several decades ago. But he said he was still treated differently once people found out he had it.

“I think society may be totally more accepting,” Lander said. “It is strange, because when I go to a ballpark — now I’m a scout for the Mariners, so I go to a lot of ballparks and people are aware of the fact I have MS. So I’ll just walk in and an usher will immediately say, ‘Oh, Dave, let me take you to your seat.’ You know?” 

“I mean, that is what ushers are supposed to do,” he added then, “but I can walk to the seat.”