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.