Harry Anderson, the magician-turned-sitcom actor best known for his nine season stint as Judge Harry stone on the NBC sitcom “Night Court,” was found dead Monday morning at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Anderson was 65. The cause of death was not disclosed, but police said foul play was not suspected.
Born Oct. 14, 1952 in Newport, Rhode Island, Anderson was drawn to the art of magic in his youth. After moving to Los Angeles, he became a street magician whose appearances on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” led to his recurring role as Harry “The Hat” Gittes on comedy “Cheers.” Anderson went on to appear in numerous other TV specials and shows, including 12 appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” which led to “Night Court” effective in January 1984. From 1993 to 1997, Anderson starred in CBS sitcom “Dave’s World,” based loosely on the life and columns of humor columnist Dave Barry.
More recently, Anderson opened a magic shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans. His most recent TV credits included episodes of comedies “30 Rock,” which featured a reunion of the “Night Court” cast, and “Son of the Beach.” He also co-starred in the 2014 indie film “A Matter of Faith.”