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Garry Shandling (1949 - 2016)

Getty Images / FilmMagic / Photo by Eric Isaacs

Garry Shandling (1949 - 2016)

Garry Shandling, the comedian, actor, writer, and producer known for “The Larry Sanders Show,” has died, according to multiple news sources. He was 66.

He died Thursday in a Los Angeles, California, hospital, according to TMZ. A cause of death has not been released at this time.

Shandling was a frequent guest host of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" and was in consideration to become Carson’s replacement. In 1986, he created his own show titled, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show." The sitcom ran on Showtime until 1990. Shandling often broke the fourth wall during the show, speaking directly to the audience.

His next show was the highly regarded “The Larry Sanders Show” for HBO. The show was a fictional look at a popular late-night talk show host. He wrote 38 episodes of the series. Shandling was nominated for 18 Emmys for his work on the show.

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In 1993, NBC offered Shandling $5 million to take over the talk show "Late Night" when host David Letterman announced his highly publicized move to CBS, but he declined. He was also offered "The Late Late Show" but also turned it down in favor of continuing on "The Larry Sanders Show." The show spoofed NBC's efforts to find a Letterman successor.

Shandling was born in Chicago and raised in Tuscon, Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles and got his start as a writer. He wrote for “Sanford and Son” and “Welcome Back Kotter.”

Fellow comedians and others shared their condolences for Shandling on social media:

Actor Rip Torn on Garry Shandling, "Working with him was one of the great privileges of my career"

Comedian Steve Martin wrote, Garry Shandling was a very special comedian with a beautifully unpredictable mind. He even voluntarily offered jokes and ideas for Oscars.

From comedian and actor Albert Brooks, R.I.P. Garry Shandling. I am so saddened to hear this. Brilliantly funny and such a great guy. He will be so missed.

Seth McFarlane, the creator of "Family Guy," Saddened over Garry Shandling. He was a comedy idol of mine. He leaves behind the greatest single-camera comedy of all time.

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