Harry Anderson – best known for playing Harry Stone on the American comedy Night Court – has died, aged 65.
The actor was found dead early Monday (16 April) morning at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. The Asheville Police Department confirmed the death and said no foul play was suspected.
Alongside appearing in Night Court, a role for which Anderson was nominated for three consecutive Emmys, he portrayed the adult Richie Tozier in the original It miniseries and had a reoccurring role on Cheers, playing Harry “The Hat” Gittes.
Anderson began his career as a magician, telling Johnny Carson in 1988 according to The Rolling Stone: “I started in magic and then I got out on the street and realised I can make more money on the street hustling with the shell game.
“So I hustled until I got my jaw broken and then I sat around with my mouth wired shut for six weeks and figured out maybe linking rings were safer. And went back to the magic, and on the street, comedy was a great tool.”
The magician then came to mainstream attention thanks to multiple appearances on Saturday Night Live, landing the Cheers role soon after. From there, NBC nabbed Anderson for Night Court which, in its prime, was the 7th most-watched show on American television.
Despite the growing fame as an actor, Anderson kept performing magic, going on tour and saying in 2014: “I was never really an actor. I was a magician who fell into a part on Cheers.”
Anderson was also a writer, publishing the book Games You Can’t Lose: A Guide for Suckers. His last major on-screen role was in Dave’s World, portraying leading character Dave Berry, based on the Miami Herald journalist of the same name.
After the show was cancelled, Anderson remained relatively away from the limelight, coming back to TV occasionally for guest appearances on the likes of 30 Rock and Son of a Beach. His last role was in the Christian drama A Matter of Faith.