Janice Dean Pays Tribute to David Lander, “Squiggy” From “Laverne & Shirley,” Who Passed Away From MS


One of the ’80s television shows that was a spin-off from genius producer Garry Marshall’s seminal, hit show, “Happy Days,” acted as touchstone for many members of Generation X: “Laverne & Shirley.” It was just four years ago that we lost Marshall. And almost exactly two years ago, his sister Penny Marshall passed away. Then came the news Saturday that we’ve now lost another person integral to that magical, sitcom world.

David Lander, who played Squiggy on “Laverne & Shirley,” has passed away at age 73.

According to Variety.

Actor David Lander, best known as Squiggy on the ABC sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” died Friday evening at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family confirmed to Variety. He was 73.

Lander died of complications related to multiple sclerosis, which he battled for 37 years. Since he went public with his diagnosis in 1999, Lander has worked closely with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, speaking out about his experience at related conferences.

The actor was best known as Squiggy from “Laverne & Shirley,” which he starred in opposite Michael McKean, who portrayed Lenny. The characters were developed by the longtime friends and collaborators while they were students at Carnegie Mellon University.

Now, Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean, who also lives with MS, has shared a truly personal tribute to David on her Twitter account:

“Knowing that David Lander lived with multiple sclerosis made it easier for those of us wanting to be open and honest about being diagnosed too. He put a brave face on living with the illness paving the way for the rest of us. Prayers and love to his family. ? RIP

He did so much great work with the @mssociety. He will be missed not only for his acting but for his advocacy helping us find a cure of ms some day.”

Screenwriter/director and actor Kevin Smith, the man who gave us the buddy characters “Jay and Silent Bob” in a string of comedies over the past thirty years, also paid homage:

“This funny man made my childhood happier with his work on “Laverne & Shirley” and his guest appearance on @TheSimpsons as himself still makes me laugh today (“Hello, Laverne…”). Rest In Peace David, and thank you: There’s a little Lenny & Squiggy in the DNA of Jay & Silent Bob.”

It’s hard to put into words what “Laverne & Shirley,” and the whole gang on that show meant to our generation. They represented the carefree young adulthood we hoped to live out some day. Life, as portrayed on the show, was full of friendships and romances and lots of laughter. It was also going to include honest misunderstandings between friends, and make-ups and break-ups with men. But mostly, it was going to include getting to grow into the person you were meant to be, with the help of those friends who become like family members. As sitcoms go, “Laverne & Shirley” was light on melodrama and heavy on loving lessons you might actually use in your life somewhere down the road.

It only seems fitting to end with this silent, visual remembrance from Michael McKean, who played “Lenny” to David’s “Squiggy”:

Here are some of the dynamic duo’s entrances. Enjoy!

Also read: my latest VIP piece, introducing the new theme, “Higher Culture.”





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