Comedian, magician and actor Harry Anderson of “Night Court” passed away at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. He was 65.
According to Asheville’s WSPA News, police confirmed that Anderson was found dead when they responded to a call to the actor’s home before 8 a.m. Monday. Foul play is not suspected.
Anderson is best known for starring as Judge Harry Stone in “Night Court”, which was part of NBC’s famed Thursday-night “Must See TV” lineup from 1984 until 1992.
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Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Anderson developed an interest in magic as a child, and blended his dexterity at sleight-of-hand tricks with his gift for humour to develop a stand-up comedy act that brought him to “The Tonight Show” (on which he appeared 12 times) and eight appearances on “Saturday Night Live”.
Anderson’s hilarious “SNL” bits led to a guest-starring role as con man Harry “The Hat” Gittes on “Cheers”, making several appearances that led to his being cast in “Night Court”, a role that landed him three consecutive Emmy nominations in 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Following the success of “Night Court”, Anderson returned to television in 1993 to star in “Dave’s World”, a sitcom based on the life of newspaper columnist Dave Barry that ran for three seasons.
Other television work included a role in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” and the lead role in a TV production of “Harvey”, taking on the role made famous by Jimmy Stewart in the 1950 film of the same name.
Reportedly tiring of Hollywood, in 2002 Anderson and wife Elizabeth moved to New Orleans, where they ran a nightclub in the French Quarter, Oswald’s Speakeasy. In 2006, they moved to Asheville.
While Anderson’s TV work had been sparse during the past few years, in 2008, he and several of his “Night Court” co-stars reunited in an episode of “30 Rock”.
Following news of Anderson’s passing, celebrities took to social media to pay their respects, including “Night Court” co-star Marsha Warfield.