Actor David Lander died December 4 in his Los Angeles home as a result of complications from multiple sclerosis at the age of 73. His wife Kathy reported that Lander was surrounded by family at the time of his death.
While he appeared in over 100 film and television productions, Lander is best known for his role of Squiggy on the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley”.
Lander and Carnegie Mellon college mate Michael McKean created the characters of Lenny and Squiggy for “Laverne and Shirley” starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams.
He made his acting debut in 1970 as the voice of Jerry Lewis in “Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down”. From there he went on to appear in over 100 productions including “Love, American Style”, numerous sitcoms including 156 episodes of “Laverne and Shirley”, “The Love Boat”, “The Man with One Red Shoe”, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, 13 episodes of “Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone”, “Twin Peaks”, Valdja Gochktch in seven episodes of “On the Air”, “Family Matters”, Lechner in 26 episodes of “Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills”, “Nash Bridges”, 12 episodes of the daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful”, “The Simpsons”, “SpongeBob SquarePants” and his final role in 2017 as Rumplestiltskin in “Goldie and Bear”.
Outside of acting, Lander had another passion…baseball! But he was much more than just a fan of the game; Lander was a scout for the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners and was even an owner of a Minor League team for a short time.
Lander may have grown up in the Bronx, but he was not a fan of the Bronx Bombers – Yankees -, he loved the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1980, he became a minority owner in the Pirates Triple A minor league team the Portland Beavers.
In the 1992 film “A League of Their Own” – a film that chronicled the female professional baseball league during World War II -, Lander combined his love of baseball and acting when he played the broadcaster in the film.
He was born David Leonard Landau on June 22, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York. He was diagnosed with MS in 1984 but kept is private until 1999.
He is survived by his wife and daughter Natalie.
feature photo credit: By ABC Television – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97295343