Actor and comedian Garry Shandling, who is remembered for two series, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” died Thursday afternoon of a heart attack. He was 66.
Born on November 29, 1949 in Chicago, Shandling began his career writing for sitcoms such as “Sanford and Son” and “Welcome Back, Kotter.” After a successful stand-up performance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” he became a frequent guest-host on the show and was considered as a leading contender to replace Carson upon his retirement. In 1986, Shandling created “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” for Showtime, which ran through 1990 and was nominated for four Emmy awards. And, in 1992, came HBO’s now classic “The Larry Sanders Show,” which aired for six seasons and is considered a series that changed the course of television comedy at the time. “The Larry Sanders Show,” featuring Jeffrey Tambor and Rip Torn, was nominated for 18 Emmy Awards (with two wins).
At the time of the launch of “The Larry Sanders Show,” Shandling turned down an offer from NBC to take over the “Late Night” franchise after David Letterman left for CBS.
Shandling also hosted “The Grammy Awards: four times in the 1990s, and “The Emmy Awards” in 2001 and 2004. He appeared on the big screen in films including “The Night We Never Met,” “Love Affair,” “Town & Country” and “Zoolander.” And he played himself in an episode of “The X-Files.” Shandling was also the author of the book “Confessions of a Late Night Talk Show Host: The Autobiography of Larry Sanders,” which was written in the voice of his alter ego, Larry Sanders.
An avid boxing fan, Shandling co-owned the Wildcard West Boxing Gym in Santa Monica, California.
Judd Apatow, one of the writers for “The Larry Sanders Show”, has been one of the premier comedic film writer, director and producers of current. Apatow tweeted his thoughts on Shandling’s sudden passing:
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) March 24, 2016
Goodbye Garry. We love you. https://t.co/8gTgMW304w
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) March 25, 2016