David Lander, the actor who played Squiggy on the “Happy Days” spin-off “Laverne & Shirley,” died on Friday due to complications from multiple sclerosis, his wife Kathy told TMZ. He was 73.
Lander was diagnosed with MS in 1984 shortly after he wrapped filming for “Laverne & Shirley,” but he didn’t reveal his diagnosis until 1999. A year later, he published his memoir, “Fall Down, Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn’t Tell Nobody,” and detailed his journey with the illness.
He went on to be an MS activist and was named an ambassador for the National MS Society in 2000.
Aside from “Laverne & Shirley,” Lander also appeared in films like Steven Spielberg’s “1941” and Robert Zemeckis’ “Used Cars” with Kurt Russell. A talented voice actor, Lander also lent his voice to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Tom and Jerry: The Movie” and “The Iron Giant.”
Shortly after news of Lander’s death, co-star Michael McKean, who played Squiggy’s sidekick Lenny, tweeted a photo of the two together.
“Whatever happens, MS can’t take it all. I will always have my heart and soul, my wit and wisdom,” Lander wrote in his memoir. “Wherever the chips may fall, if I fall with them I will make it a point to do so gracefully — and laughing.”
He is survived by his wife Kathy and daughter Natalie.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) December 5, 2020