David L. Lander, the comic actor best known for his over-the-top portrayal of 1950s greaser Squiggy on "Laverne & Shirley," has died at the age of 73.
Lander passed away Friday from complications from multiple sclerosis at a Los Angeles hospital, his wife, Kathy, told TMZ.
Variety confirmed Lander's death on Saturday.
Kathy Lander noted that she and daughter, Natalie, were at Lander's bedside at the time of his passing.
Born in Brooklyn in 1947, Lander graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts before attending Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. It was there that he met classmate Michael McKean, where they created the characters of Lenny & Squiggy years before the show.
Penny Marshall, who played Laverne, knew Lander and McKean and suggested them for the show, she said in a 2016 Television Academy interview with Cindy Williams, who played Shirley.
"I almost bit a hole in my tongue trying not to laugh" at Lander and McKean, Williams said in the same interview.
On Saturday, McKean posted an undated black-and-white photo on Twitter of Lander and himself.
Both actors appeared in the 1979 Steven Spielberg World War II film "1941" and in the Kurt Russell comedy "Used Cars" the following year.
One year after "Laverne & Shirley" ended its eight-season run in 1983, Lander was diagnosed with the nervous system disease. Before publicly revealing his diagnosis in 1999, he made notable guest appearances on "Married ... with Children," "Simon & Simon" and "Father Dowling Mysteries," according to IMDb.
He also had an uncredited role as a baseball announcer in the 1992 film "A League of Their Own," directed by Marshall.
In addition to recurring roles on several series in the 1990s, Lander performed in numerous voiceover projects well into the 2000s, including "SpongeBob SquarePants," "The Garfield Show" and "Oswald."
He also helped raise awareness of multiple sclerosis.
"I don't think we're ever going to find a cure," he said in a 2015 "Entertainment Tonight" interview with his co-stars. "It's just basically becoming aware that you can live with it."(c)2020 New York Daily News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC