Comedian Garry Shandling, who amused millions of Americans on his faux talk show, The Larry Sanders Show, in the 1990s, died Thursday. He was 66.
The news was confirmed by Los Angeles Police Officer Rosario Herrera. The cause was undisclosed.
TMZ was first with the news, reporting Thursday there was a 911 call for an medical emergency from Shandling’s Los Angeles home and he was transported to a hospital where he died.
Police said they will conduct a death investigation.
Shandling’s last tweet (he had nearly 600,000 followers and nearly 7,000 tweets) was March 20 and featured him with fellow comedian Kathy Griffin.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 21, 2016
He was fully engaged until just days before his death, tweeting jokes about Kanye West and Mitt Romney and the Republican presidential contest.
If I was Kanye I wouldn't wait for the GOP convention, I'd go make a deal with Mitt right now.
— Garry Shandling (@GarryShandling) March 19, 2016
Shandling was a comedian, an actor, producer, even a director, according to his Internet Movie Database page, but he’s best known as “Larry Sanders,” the anxiety-ridden talk-show host whose hilarious foibles made entertaining fun of the talk-show genre from 1992 to 1998. He was the creator, the writer and the star.
(His Larry Sanders co-star was Jeffrey Tambor, the star of HBO’s award-winning Transparent in which Tambor is playing a transgender woman.)
The convention-bending Sanders series also opened the door to other such TV fare, breaking decades-old molds and making possible such popular behind-the-showbiz-scenes comedies as Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Colbert Report and 30 Rock.
The reaction from his friends and fans was shock.
Oh my ..GOD will laugh now as he never has Before REST IN PEACE .. Wayyyy to soon https://t.co/c5T4O6kBHg
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) March 24, 2016
Originally from Chicago, Shandling started out in advertising before moving to comedy writing and standup. In the 1980s he launched his first series, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, a Showtime sitcom that called attention to its artificial nature with the actors routinely breaking the fourth wall.
In 1992, he began to tinker with TV comedy with The Larry Sanders Show, which starred him as an egomaniacal late-night TV host with an anxiety-ridden show-biz life behind the scenes.
By Maria Puente