Garry Shandling, the writer, actor, producer and comedian best known for his long-running and influential HBO series The Larry Sanders Show and his groundbreaking sitcom It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, died today at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 66. No cause of death was released.
Shandling was born on November 29, 1949, in Chicago and raised in Tucson, AZ. He moved to Los Angeles in 1973, working in advertising before breaking into entertainment in 1975 with a script for Sanford and Son. During this period he wrote for Welcome Back, Kotter and was briefly involved with Three’s Company.
Shandling began doing stand-up comedy in 1978 after becoming frustrated with what he said was the “formulaic writing” common on situation comedies. He eventually caught the attention of The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson and made his first appearance on the program in 1981. He would go on to be a regular guest host until 1987.