David L. Lander

david-l-lander-450x600.jpg

David L. Lander

David L. Lander

Photo credit: 
Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

David L. Lander

Date of Birth

Date of Birth: June 22, 1947
Date of Passing: December 04, 2020
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Obituary: Hollywood Reporter

David L. Lander was an American actor and voice-over artist.

Lander was best known as Squiggy from the ABC sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which he co-starred in opposite Michael McKean, who played Lenny. The characters were developed by Lander and McKean while they were students at Carnegie Mellon University in the mid-1960s.

David L. Lander was an American actor and voice-over artist.

Lander was best known as Squiggy from the ABC sitcom Laverne & Shirley, which he co-starred in opposite Michael McKean, who played Lenny. The characters were developed by Lander and McKean while they were students at Carnegie Mellon University in the mid-1960s.

After teaming up, Lander and McKean moved to Los Angeles, where they joined the comedy ensemble The Credibility Gap, which began in 1968 at the Pasadena-based KRLA-AM and later moved to KPPC-FM. The group — Harry Shearer and Richard Beebe were also members — produced half-hour programs, five days a week, consisting of their comedic takes on news and current events. The group also played clubs, opened for bands, and released albums, including 1974's A Great Gift Idea, widely regarded as a comedy classic.

Actor/directors Penny Marshall and Rob Reiner were fans of the Lenny and Squiggy characters. After Marshall landed a role on Laverne & Shirley in 1975, she and Reiner invited them to a party celebrating the start of the series and introduced them to the show's producers. After performing a short routine in character, Lander and McKean were hired as writers for the show. They wrote themselves into the first episode, and would appear in 156 of the show's 178 episodes.

In 1979, Lander and McKean released an album, Lenny and the Squigtones, featuring Christopher Guest on guitar, who was credited as Nigel Tufnel, an alias that Guest later reused in the fictional band Spinal Tap.

Lander made appearances in numerous TV shows before, during, and after Laverne and Shirley's eight-year run, including Love, American Style, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Barney Miller, The Love Boat, Matlock, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twin Peaks, The Nanny, The Drew Carey Show, Nash Bridges, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Mad About You.

A prolific voice actor, Lander was heard in episodes of Batman: The Animated Series, Homeboys in Outer Space, The Tick, Superman: The Animated Series, Recess, 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Garfield Show, and The Simpsons. He most recently voiced Rumpelstiltskin in Disney's children's show Goldie and Bear, and Donnie the Shark in an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants.

Lander died December 4, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. He was 73.

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