Today, the world lost one of the founding fathers of TV comedy. Celebrated comedian Garry Shandling died this morning from a massive heart attack, TMZ reports. A 911 call was sent from the actor’s home at 10:40, and Shandling was still alive when was rushed to an LA hospital where he passed.
TMZ’s sources said Shandling seemed fine before the heart attack and had been talking to people earlier that morning. He was not suffering from any illnesses, making his death sudden and unexpected. It was only last week that he was hanging out with his costars from The Larry Sanders Show, Kathy Griffin and Bob Odenkirk.
Shandling was an award winning actor who, during his career, earned 2 British Comedy Awards, 11 CableACE Awards, and a BAFTA. Shandling held a degree in Marketing from University of Arizona, but got his start in the showbusiness after he moved to Los Angeles and sold a script for Sanford and Son. Early in his career, he wrote for the series Welcome Back, Kotter and also guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He was actually considered to replace Carson as the host but instead pursued his stand-up career following a car accident.
Check out Shandling’s first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson below.
Shandling later created It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, his own sitcom, in 1986. The series was significant for Showtime since it was one of the network’s earliest original series. It’s Garry Shandling’s Show ended in 1990 and received 4 Emmy nominations. In 1992, Shandling starred in and co-created The Larry Sanders Show. This new series was a milestone for HBO, marking part of the network’s beginning for providing the original content we have come to love.
The Larry Sanders Show received 18 Emmy nominations, but it was the series finale that finally won an Emmy. To this day, The Larry Sanders Show is considered essential in influencing future generations of TV comedy.
In addition to his TV credits, Shandling also appeared in films such as Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dr. Dolittle, Zoolander, and voice acted in Over the Hedge.