Legendary comedian and actor Garry Shandling has passed away. He was 66.
Shandling was born in Chicago in 1949. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Arizona before switching to marketing.While in college he developed an interest in stand-up comedy, and once sought out the advice from veteran comedian George Carlin, who encouraged him to continue honing his material.
He began his career in show business as a comedy writer, starting with the TV series Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter. His big break came as a stand-up comedian came during a guest spot on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1981. Carson liked his work so much that Shandling served as a guest host for Carson numerous times, and was even rumored to have been on the short list to replace the late-night legend.
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His success as a comic led to Shandling securing his own show called It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, which ran for four seasons on Showtime.
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Afterward, Shandling starred in HBO’s hit series The Larry Sanders’ Show. The show ran for six seasons and was nominated for 18 Emmy awards.
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Among his other achievements, Shandling often hosted the Grammy awards as well as the Primetime Emmy awards. Shandling was also an actor in more than a dozen films over the years, including Love Affair (1994), Hurlyburly (1998), What Planet Are You From? (2000), Zoolander (2001), Town & Country (2001), Over the Hedge (2006), Iron Man 2 (2010), and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
Shandling, who never married, reportedly died of a massive heart attack.
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