Garry Shandling, the writer, actor and comedian who created The Larry Sanders Show, has died at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 66.
His death is thought to have been sudden, and he was not known to have been suffering from any serious illness. Last weekend he retweeted a photograph of himself with comedian Kathy Griffin and actor Bob Odenkirk.
Born in Chicago and raised in Arizona, Shandling got his break in the entertainment business by writing scripts for classic sitcoms Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter. After turning to stand-up comedy, he created the sitcom It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, about a neurotic stand-up comedian.
He also stood in regularly for host Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, an experience he mined for his most famous creation. The Larry Sanders Show, which ran from 1992 to 1998, featured real celebrities playing themselves behind the scenes at a fictional talk-show, and was the forerunner to some of the era’s most celebrated television comedies, such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and Extras.
TMZ reported that Shandling was taken ill at home, and was alive when he arrived at the hospital.
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