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'Laverne & Shirley' actor, David Lander, dies at 73

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  • Tip Bones

Kathy Fields Lander, wife of renowned actor David Lander, confirmed that her husband passed away Friday night, December 4th. He died of complications due to multiple sclerosis which he battled for 37 years. Lander was diagnosed with the disease in 1984 but kept it a secret until he announced the condition in 1999. After revealing that he had MS Lander worked closely with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and spoke about his experiences at conferences.

From a young age Lander had his sights set on acting. He attended the High School for the Performing Arts and studied at Carnegie Mellon University. At college, he met Michael McKean and the two became quick friends. The duo teamed up and moved to Los Angeles where they worked on starting their careers. They both joined The Credibility Group, a comedy ensemble, and later starred in several movies and TV shows together; their work includes Steven Spielberg’s “1941”, Kurt Russel’s “Used Cars”, the animated series, “Oswald”, and most famously “Laverne & Shirley”. Saturday morning McKean tweeted an old photo of the two of them.

In “Laverne & Shirley”, Lander played Squiggy and McKean played Kosnowski, they were two greasers who lived in the apartment above Laverne and Shirley’s. Lander spoke about the creation of his character in a 1978 issue of People magazine, “Squiggy is a combination of people I knew and despised. You have more freedom playing people you hate. There are people like them who haven’t outgrown their silly dreams… Squiggy looks at the mirror and thinks he’s the handsomest guy in the world.” Lander was a master at creating characters and the world lost a great talent this week. He is survived by his wife Kathy Fields Lander and his daughter Natalie Lander.