American actor David Lander, best known for playing Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley, has passed away at the age of 73. Variety reports he died of complications from multiple sclerosis. David Lander was born David L. Landau June 22, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He died December 4, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Lander was best known to American audiences as Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman on Laverne and Shirley, half of the comic relief pair Lenny & Squiggy with longtime friend Michael McKean as Lenny Kosnowski. A prolific voice actor, you probably knew his voice better than his face. He voiced Jon’s brother, Doc Boy, in the Garfield cartoons. He voiced Ch’p in Green Lantern: First Flight, Sqweek in Superman: the Animated Series, Nitro in Batman: the Animated Series, and Filth #1 in The Tick. In the short-lived live-action superhero Black Scorpion he played the villainous Greenthumb.
In a theatrical career that lasted almost half a century and over a hundred roles, he had surprisingly few science fiction roles. He played a Ferengi tactician in the Star Trek: the Next Generation episode “Peak Performance.” He voiced the mayor in Titan A. E. He voiced Lechner in Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills and voiced Inspector 17 in Homeboys in Outer Space. He voiced Milo de Venus in Galaxy High School.
As a voice actor, he was in many Disney productions: Smart Ass in Who FramedRoger Rabbit?, Thumper in A Bug’s Life, Weazel in TaleSpin, da Shrimp in The Little Mermaid (TV series), Horace Badun in 101 Dalmations: the Series, Leonard Weems in Recess, and Arthur the Vulture in Jungle Cubs, which reunited him with Lenny (Michael McKean) as Cecil the Vulture.
David Lander was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1984. To orotect his privacy, he did not share that information with his fans until 1999. He became a goodwill ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Lander was survived by his wife, actress Kathy Fields, and their daughter, actress Natalie Lander. We offer them our deepest condolences.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.