Laverne & Shirley
American talented actor and comedian David L. Lander is best associated with his role as Andrew ‘Squiggy’ Squiggmann, the slippery neighbor with the spit curl hair, on the hit television series “Laverne and Shirley” (1976-1983), along side sitcom sidekick Lenny (Michael McKean). He has starred in David Lynch’s sitcom “On The Air” (1992) and in the popular soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” (1997-1998), as well as has appeared in guest roles in such hit shows as “Married with Children” (1989), “The Nanny” (1995), “Diagnosis Murder” (1998), “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1999) and “Mad About You” (1999). His film credits include Used Cars (1980), The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), A League of Their Own (1992), A League of Their Own (1992), Scary Movie (2000), Say It Isn’t So (2001), Jane White Is Sick & Twisted (2002), Joe Roth’s Christmas with the Kranks (2004) and Zoom (2006).
A versatile voice-over artist, Lander is very active doing voice-overs for radio, television and in animation. Among his works are in the animated series “Galaxy High School” (1985), “Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills” (1994) and “101 Dalmatians” (1997-1998), and in the movies Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992), Titan A.E. (2000), The Tangerine Bear (2000) and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001).
Off screen, baseball fanatic and student of the game, Lander was a part-owner of the minor league club the Portland Beavers, and has been a baseball talent scout since 1997, first for the Anaheim Angels, and now for the Seattle Mariners. In 1999, he proclaimed to the public that for 15 years he had been covering the fact that he had multiple sclerosis (MS). Officially diagnosed on May 15, 1984 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the writer of autobiographical memoir “Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn’t Tell Nobody,” about dealing with MP, currently keeps on a very active agenda as a spokesperson and advocate for MS and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). In 2000, NMSS honored Lander with an award for Ambassador of the Year.
On a more personal note, 5’ 3” tall Lander has been married twice. He was married to first wife Thea Poole from 1971 until 1978, and married his current wife, Kathy Fields, in 1979. Lander and his wife of 27 years have a child together.
Childhood and Family:
The youngest son of schoolteachers, David Landau, who would later be popular as David L. Lander, was born on June 22, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York, but grew up in Bronx, New York. He knew that he wanted to become an actor when he was 10 years old. His formal acting training started four years later when he enrolled at the High School of Performing Arts in New York City. He went on to study acting at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he befriended fellow student Michael McKean, and later at NYU.
David, who earned nickname Squiggy after his character Andrew Squiggmann on “Laverne & Shirley” (1978-1983), tied the knot with Thea Poole in 1971, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1978. A year later, on March 10, 1979, he remarried, to his current wife, Kathy Fields. The couple and their child currently reside in Thousand Oaks, California.
After college, David L. Lander moved from New York City to Hollywood to begin a career in entertainment. He wrote for the short-lived television variety show “ROMP!” and was discovered by a radio producer who impressed by his sense of humor and his talent for voice imitations while he was working at a telephone answering service. It was with the Credibility Gap that the budding comedian, along with fellow Michael McKean, gained a massive fan following on an L.A radio station. With the Gap, the two also had first opportunity to perform Lenny and Squiggy.
Amazed by their manic performances, producer Gary Marshall recruited Lander and McKean to star in the situation comedy “Laverne and Shirley,” where Lander played Andrew “Squiggy” Squiggman and McKean portrayed Lenny Kosnowski, two adenoidal, fatally stupid truck drivers for Milwaukee’s Shotz Brewery. The two remained with the series from 1976 to 1983.
Prior to his TV success, Lander had guest spots on such TV shows like “Department S” (1969), “The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie” (1972, voice of Jud), “The Bob Newhart Show” (1974) and “Barney Miller” (1975). He went on to pursue other projects while working on “Laverne & Shirley,” appearing in feature films such as Cracking Up (1977), 1941 (1979), Wholly Moses! (1980), Used Cars (1980) and Pandemonium (1982).
After “Laverne & Shirley” came to an end, Lander found himself doing voice-overs for the animated movie The Big Bang (1984), in the animated television shows “Galaxy High School” (1985), as the six armed Milo De Venus, and “Camp Candy” (1989), as well as in the television film A Garfield Christmas Special (1988). The comic actor also could be seen acting in films The Man with One Red Shoe (1985), Steele Justice (1987), Funland (1987), and in episodes of such television series as “Simon & Simon” (1988), “Married with Children” (1989) and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1989).
During the 1990s, Lander remained busy as both a voice-over artist and an actor. He worked for such animated programs as “TaleSpin” (1990-1994, as Weazel), Tom and Jerry: The Movie (1992, as Frankie da Flea), “Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills” (1994, as Lechner), “101 Dalmatians: The Series” (1997-1998, as Horace), A Bug’s Life (1998, as Thumper) and “100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd” (1999, as Ceasar). He had recurring roles on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990-1991), “Family Matters” (1995) and the USA Network series “Pacific Blue” (1996-1997), as well as guest starred in numerous TV shows, including “The Nanny” (1995), “Diagnosis Murder” (1998), “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1999) and “Mad About You” (1999). Also, he starred as unintelligible TV director Vladja Gochktch on the Lynch’s sitcom “On The Air” (1992) and as Dr. Martin Guthrie on the popular soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” (1997-1998). As for film, Lander could be seen acting in such projects as Steel and Lace (1991), A League of Their Own (1992), Betrayal of the Dove (1993), Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare (1995, TV) and The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998).
Entering the new millennium, Lander provided the voice of The Mayor in the animated movie Titan A.E. (2000), and in The Tangerine Bear (2000), he voiced Theodore/Store Clerk. Following performances in films Scary Movie (2000) and Say It Isn’t So (2001), he returned to voice-over work for the Eddie Murphy vehicle Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), voicing bird, and for the John A. Davis-directed animation Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), as Yokian Guard/Gus. Lander then portrayed Gerry King in the comedy film Jane White Is Sick & Twisted (2002) and two years later appeared as Tanning Intruder in Joe Roth’s Christmas with the Kranks (2004), starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Recently, Lander reunited with Allen in the science fiction film Zoom (2006), which also starred Courteney Cox and Chevy Chase. He will soon play Gene in the comedy Tomoko’s Kitchen (2006). The upcoming film stars Tomo Kawaguchi and directed by Shawna Baca.