Harry Anderson From 'Night Court' Has Passed Away At 65

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TMZ reported Monday evening that no foul play is suspected in the death of the genially-deadpan actor who first rose to fame as a magician/stand-up comic.

Anderson gained national attention after he guest starred as grifter Harry "the Hat" Gittes on NBC's "Cheers" in the early 1980s. He was wicked smart. He had a big heart. Anderson acted alongside John Larroquette as Dan Fielding, Richard Moll as Nostradamus "Bull" Shannon, Charles Robinson as Mac Robinson, Markie Post as Christine Sullivan, and Marsha Warfield as Rosalind "Roz" Russell, and even directed two episodes and wrote or co-wrote five episodes of Night Court. "And he could eat a hamster like no one I ever knew".

Anderson has said he never sought to be an actor.

Anderson starred as Judge Harry T. Stone in "Night Court" from 1984 to 1992.

He said: "Cheers was my first acting job, but it was basically the character I had developed on the street".

"I did a Saturday Night Live, just a guest spot", Anderson told the Bradenton Herald in 2015. He then continued his string on television in 1993 with Dave's World, playing the real-life scribe humorist Dave Barry.

Judd Apatow mourned Anderson's death on Twitter Monday, writing, "I interviewed Harry Anderson when I was 15 years old and he was so kind, and frank and hilarious". Anderson, who cited mid-20th century magician Harry Blackstone as his inspiration, saw himself as a magician and illusionist, not an actor, the New York Times reports. Neil Patrick Harris gave Anderson a shout-out for his alternate career as a magician, which he sometimes showcased on Night Court.

Anderson was a magician-turned-actor who was known as a huge fan of jazz singer Mel Torme.

A People magazine story in 2002 said Mr. Anderson disappeared from Hollywood and resurfaced as the owner of a New Orleans magic shop.

Anderson's comedic acting took him from the street corners to college campuses and small clubs before landing on SNL eight times and Late Night with David Letterman.

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