David Lander, Squiggy in ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ dead at 73

David Lander, Squiggy in ‘Laverne & Shirley,’ dies at age 73

LOS ANGELES — Actor David Lander, who played Squiggy on the sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” died Friday night in Los Angeles, Variety reported. He was 73.

Lander died of multiple sclerosis, which he battled for 37 years, the magazine reported. He first went public with his condition in 1999. His wife, Kathy Fields Lander, was by his side when he died, along with his daughter Natalie and his son-in-law, according to Variety.

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Lander’s death was first reported by TMZ.

Lander played Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman for all eight seasons of the popular ABC situation comedy, which ran from 1976 to 1983, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Lander starred with Michael McKean, who played Leonard “Lenny” Kosnowski. The duo had honed their act after meeting as freshmen at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh and performed a raunchy comedy act known as Lenny & Anthony, the website reported.

Lander and McKean were hired as writers during “Laverne & Shirley’s” first season and then were inserted into the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

They joined the show that starred Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney. The women played two romantically challenged workers at the Shotz Brewery and roommates in Milwaukee during the late 1950s.

Lander and McKean were greasers who drove trucks for the brewery and lived in an apartment upstairs from Laverne and Shirley.

Lander later reprised his role as Squiggy in a 2002 episode of “The Simpsons,” Variety reported.

Lander’s other roles included providing the voice of comedian Jerry Lewis in a 1970 Saturday morning cartoon, the magazine reported. He also played taxidermist Tim Pinkle on “Twin Peaks,” and teamed with McKean on film in 1979′s “1941″ and 1980′s “Used Cars.”

Lander and McKean also voiced an animated TV series, “Oswald,” as the voices of two animated penguins Henry and Louie, respectively.

Lander also appeared on television shows that included “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Barney Miller,” “Happy Days,” “Viva Valdez” and “The Drew Carey Show,” Variety reported.