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Gary Shandling RIP

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
So long, Gary. Thanks for all the laughs.

Comedian Garry Shandling died Thursday, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 66.

The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an address reported to be Shandling's at 10:40 a.m. on "a medical emergency." The patient was then transported to Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica.

The comic, whose career has spanned decades in the industry, is known for influential and highly regarded turns in two comedy series: The Larry Sanders Show and It's Garry Shandling's Show.

Born in Chicago, Shandling's family relocated to Tucson, Ariz., to help treat his older brother, Barry, who suffered from cystic fibrosis. Barry died at age 10 but the family remained.

Shandling moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s to give comedy writing a shot. He first earned a living writing ad copy, but his dry, cerebral wit quickly earned him staff-writer gigs on such sitcoms a Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter.

In 1977, when he was 27, Shandling was in a serious car accident in Beverly Hills that nearly killed him.

"I had a vivid near-death experience that involved a voice asking, 'Do you want to continue leading Garry Shandling's life?'" he later wrote. "Without thinking, I said, 'Yes.' Since then, I've been stuck living in the physical world while knowing, without a doubt, that there's something much more meaningful within it all. That realization is what drives my life and work."

 
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