Actor David Lander, best known as Squiggy in the sitcom Laverne & Shirley, had died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, Variety has confirmed.
He was 73.
Lander died of multiple sclerosis, a condition he had battled for 37 years.
The actor was best known for playing the role of Squiggy in the Happy Days spinoff following the lives of two young female friends in 1950s and ‘60s America.
Lander featured in the show from 1976 to 1983, alongside Michael McKean who played his on-screen friend Lenny, and the show’s stars Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams.
The characters Lenny and Squiggy were developed by McKean and Lander while they were students at Carnegie Mellon University.
In 2002, Lander reprised Squiggy for an episode of The Simpsons.
Lander was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1984, one year after Laverne & Shirley came to an end.
He kept the illness a secret until 1999, when he canvassed the issue in his memoir, Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn’t Tell Nobody.
He later became known for speaking at conventions, fundraisers and galas where he advocated for others who live with multiple sclerosis.
“My doctor painted a fairly bleak picture of the disease, even going so far as to tell me I probably wouldn’t walk again…,” Lander said during an interview in Brain & Life Magazine.
“Whatever happens, MS can’t take it all.
“I will always have my heart and soul, my wit and wisdom.
“Wherever the chips may fall, if I fall with them I will make it a point to do so gracefully – and laughing.”
The actor leaves behind his wife of 41 years, Kathy Lander, and 37-year-old daughter Natalie Lander.
Lander had his eyes on acting at a young age and progressed to an arts high school. After teaming up with McKean in college, the duo moved to Los Angeles, where they joined the comedy ensemble, The Credibility Gap.
Lander and McKean moved onto co-starring in Steven Spielberg’s 1979 comedy, 1941, and Robert Zemeckis’ 1980 film Used Cars, alongside Kurt Russell.
Lander’s TV resume featured roles in an array of TV classics including The Bob Newhart Show, Barney Miller, Happy Days, Viva Valdez and The Drew Carey Show.
CNN’s Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.