Harry Anderson, the three-time Emmy Award nominee who anchored former NBC sitcom Night Court and who was also a well-known and respected magician, died on Monday morning.
He was 65 years old.
This very sad piece of news was confirmed to TMZ by Anderson’s son, Dashiell, who says his father passed away at his home in North Carolina.
It is believed that Anderson died of natural causes.
At the time of this writing, no foul play is suspected.
He was found at his residence by local police officers.
Anderson is best known to television fans for his role as Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, a series that ran from 1984 through 1992.
During its heyday, the sitcom was part of NBC’s early “Must See TV” Thursday lineup, which also included The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers.
At one point, Anderson was nominated three years in a row for portraying the judge who ruled over a quirky Manhattan court.
Anderson also appeared on Cheers (as Harry the Hat for a six-episode run) and starred in his own sitcom, “Dave’s World,” which ran from 1993 to 1997.
The hilarious actor kept a lower profile later in life, although you may recognize him from appearances he made on such programs as 30 Rock, Son of the Beach and Comedy Bang! Bang!.
What separated Anderson from many of his peers was the fact that he was actually an accomplished magician.
This was a trait woven into the character of Stone, along with one that Anderson took advantage of in another professional capacity:
He opened a magic shop in the French Quarter of New Orleans and also had a nightclub in the French Quarter called Oswald’s Speakeasy.
Anderson also made a dozen appearances on The Tonight Show to flaunt his impressive array of skills and tricks in this area.
As this news spreads around the Internet, expect plenty of tributes and messages to come pouring in.
Judd Apatow, for instance, has already Tweeted the following:
“I interviewed Harry Anderson when I was 15 years old and he was so kind, and frank and hilarious. The interview is in my book Sick In The Head.
“He was a one of a kind talent who made millions so happy.”
Anderson is survived by two children and his wife, Elizabeth Morgan.
May he rest in peace.