Comedian Garry Shandling Dies At 66

Garry Shandling

Award-winning comedian Garry Shandling passed away on Thursday at the age of 66. Per Variety, the Los Angeles Police Department was called to Shandling’s house for a “medical emergency” and he later died at a Los Angeles-area hospital.

Shandling was best known for his two TV sitcoms: Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, which aired from 1986 to 1990, and HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show, which ran from 1992 to 1998. Here’s a clip from the latter with Shandling and co-star Jeffrey Tambor from the 2010 DVD release of the series:

Over Shandling’s career he earned 19 Emmy Award nominations, though he only won one: Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, for writing the Larry Sanders series finale with Peter Tolan. He also took home multiple other accolades, including several American Comedy Awards.

His last film appearance was in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he reprised the role of Senator Stern that he originated in Iron Man 2. Shandling’s last turn on TV was a voice-acting part in the “Couple’s Therapy” episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor in 2006.

In recent years, Variety reported that Shandling had focused most of his time on working behind the scenes with other comedians and writers on improving their material.

Aside from his acting credits he was also a writer, producer, and TV host who hosted the Grammy Awards four times and the Emmys twice, while delivering the opening monologue at the Emmys in a third ceremony. He frequently filled in as host of The Tonight Show in the absence of Johnny Carson, and was offered the hosting jobs of both CBS’s Late Show and Late Late Show, but declined both times.

He began his career penning scripts for Sanford Son and Welcome Back, Kotter.

Shandling never married and never had children, but he does leave behind a legacy as a truly unique voice in comedy. Aside from his own contributions to the genre, those who wrote for Shandling’s series prior to finding their own success include Judd Apatow and Paul Simms, the creator of NewsRadio.


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