Harry Anderson, star of the NBC series Night Court and the 1990 IT miniseries, has died at the age of 65. The actor was found at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. Police confirmed the news of his passing to The Hollywood Reporter. Here's what Asheville PD's Public Affairs officer Christina Hallingse had to say.
"This morning at 6:41 a.m. the Asheville Police Department responded to the home of actor Harry Anderson where he was found deceased. No foul play is suspected."
Though he became known as an actor, Harry Anderson never sought out the profession. Anderson was born on October 14, 1952, in Newport, Rhode Island. He eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Hollywood High School. In his youth, Anderson became interested in magic and practiced his skills, eventually managing to earn money as a street magician in San Francisco when he was 17. In his teens, he joined the Dante Magic Club.
His magician skills ultimately landed him a recurring role on the sitcom Cheers, thanks to producer Les Charles, who encountered Harry Anderson as a street magician in San Francisco. Anderson's role as Harry "The Hat" Gittes on Cheers helped land him his best-known role as Judge Stone on Night Court, which ran for nine seasons and was nominated for 31 Emmys during its run. Anderson was nominated for three Emmys for his portrayal of Judge Stone. Judd Apatow took to Twitter to share his thoughts on Anderson's passing.
"I interviewed Harry Anderson when I was 15 years old and he was so kind, and frank and hilarious. The interview is in my book Sick In The Head. He was a one of a kind talent who made millions so happy."
In addition to his roles on Night Court and Cheers, Harry Anderson is also known for playing the adult version of Richie Tozier in the 1990 miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's IT alongside Tim Curry's Pennywise. The role was played most recently by Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard in director Andy Muschietti's 2017 adaptation, with Bill Hader in talks to play the role in IT 2. Anderson's former Night Court co-star John B. Larroquette had this to say on Twitter.
"Harry Anderson. He was wicked smart. He was wicked funny. He had a big laugh. He had a big heart. He delighted in legerdemain especially when he caused someone to scratch their head and proclaim; How the hell did you do that? And he could eat a hamster like no one I ever knew."
In 2008, Harry Anderson played himself on an episode of 30 Rock, reuniting with several of his Night Court co-stars. The actor's last credited role was in 2014's A Matter of Faith. You can check out more social media tributes to Anderson for yourself below. RIP, Harry Anderson. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.
I interviewed Harry Anderson when I was 15 years old and he was so kind, and frank and hilarious. The interview is in my book Sick In The Head. He was a one of a kind talent who made millions so happy. https://t.co/0ksw4WKvxB— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) April 16, 2018
Harry Anderson. He was wicked smart. He was wicked funny. He had a big laugh. He had a big heart. He delighted in legerdemain especially when he caused someone to scratch their head and proclaim; How the hell did you do that? And he could eat a hamster like no one I ever knew.— John B. Larroquette (@johnlarroquette) April 17, 2018
So sad to hear of passing of #HarryAnderson. I remember driving to NJ for $40/night gigs with him, before he became a huge star. (Nobody does that AFTER they're a huge star.) He was truly one of the nicest guys. A gentle soul. He will be missed. RIP friend..— Paul Reiser (@PaulReiser) April 17, 2018
Oh gee no.. RIP Harry Anderson, one of the nicest guys on earth. A pleasure to work with, to know. He did so much for others, helping kids, doing so much charity work. His memory will truly be a blessing.— Elayne Boosler (@ElayneBoosler) April 17, 2018
I appeared on three episodes of "Night Court" way back when. Ran into him in N.Y. not that long ago. Always friendly. Always funny. RIP Harry Anderson— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) April 17, 2018
Stunned by the passing of Harry Anderson, one of my comedy and magic inspirations growing up. We became friendly over the years - he worked at the @MagicCastle_AMA and recently sold me a handful of great magic memorabilia. My sincere condolences to his family. #RIPpic.twitter.com/k9FITPIaBS— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) April 17, 2018
So sorry to hear we've lost Harry Anderson. A very nice man.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) April 17, 2018
When my mom produced one of the HBO Young Comedian Specials, Harry Anderson was one of the comics on the show. Really nice guy. Hugs to his loved ones today.— Kelly Marie Carlin (@kelly_carlin) April 17, 2018
I loved Harry Anderson and “Night Court.” Rest in Peace.— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) April 17, 2018