R.I.P. Garry Shandling (1949-2016)

Numerous outlets (including TMZ) are reporting that Garry Shandling passed away earlier this morning. The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed the reports, but a cause of death has not yet been revealed. Shandling was 66 years old.

Shandling was well known as a comedian, an actor, a writer, and a producer during his 41 year career. Shandling got his start as a writer for Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter. In 1977, Shandling was in serious car accident, which he cited as a major turning point in his life. Shandling began focusing on stand up comedy. A 1981 guest appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson led to Shandling becoming Johnny Carson’s permanent guest host until 1987.

In 1985, Shandling and Alan Zweibel co-created It’s Garry Shandling’s Show for Showtime, which was one of the first mockumentary television series of the modern era. Shandling starred as a fictionalized version of himself for four seasons. Shandling’s character also demonstrated “fourth wall awareness” and frequently addressed the studio audience and acknowledged that he lived in a show. 

Shandling’s next series, The Larry Sanders Show was created for HBO and it went on to surpass the success of his previous series. Beginning in 1992, The Larry Sanders Show ran for six seasons and its unique style of comedy was very influential for series that came after it including Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, and The Office.

Outside of television, Shandling appeared in the films Love Affair, Mixed NutsWhat Planet Are You From?, and Town & Country, in addition to cameo roles in Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and The Dictator

CraveOnline extends its condolences to Shandling’s family, friends, and fans all over the world.

Photo Credit: HBO/Sony Pictures Television

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