David L. Lander, born in 1947 in Brooklyn, NY, the youngest son of two schoolteachers, decided to become an actor when he was 10. His training began 4 years later at New York‘s High School for the Performing Arts and continued at Carnegie Tech and New York University.
After college, David moved to Hollywood and found a job writing for a short-lived variety show, ROMP! Next, while working for an answering service, David was discovered by a radio producer who liked his sense of humor and the unique voices he performed. David was then given an audition with The Credibility Gap, a satirical radio show based on the day‘s news.
It was here that he and fellow “Gapper,” Michael McKean, first performed “Lenny And Squiggy” before a live audience. One of the radio listeners was Penny Marshall, who had just been given a new show for ABC, Laverne & Shirley. She convinced the boys to perform at one of her parties, where Garry Marshall asked if they would audition for the characters of this show. The very popular show ran for 7 years (1976–1983). During that time David and Michael appeared in over 200 episodes.
David has appeared in several feature films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Man with One Red Shoe, and A League of Their Own. In addition, he often does voiceovers for radio, television, and cartoons—including the animated feature film, A Bug‘s Life and two ABC animated series, Jungle Cubs and 101 Dalmatians. David also has been featured on the hit soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS), as well as TV shows Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (ABC) and Mad About You (NBC).
In June of 1999, after 14 years of silence, David announced that he has multiple sclerosis. He joined the National MS Society as an ambassador to increase awareness about MS and the Society—and demonstrate that you can enjoy a fulfilling career and active life despite having a chronic illness. In November 2000, David was named the National MS Ambassador of the Year.
Since then, David Lander has been featured in many interviews on TV, radio and in print. He also published an autobiography, Fall Down, Laughing (September 2000, Putnam)—a candid and humorous description of "How Squiggy caught multiple sclerosis and didn't tell nobody.