Wednesday 28 September 2016

Comedian Garry Shandling dies after 'heart attack'

Published 25/03/2016 | 00:41

Garry Shandling holds court at the The Comedy Awards in New York (AP)
Garry Shandling holds court at the The Comedy Awards in New York (AP)

US comedian Garry Shandling has died at 66 after a suspected heart attack.

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Shandling was taken from his home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, by ambulance on Thursday morning for an unspecified medical emergency and pronounced dead at a hospital.

Los Angeles County Coroner's Lieutenant David Smith said m edical records would be used to determine how he died, but according to Shandling's publicist Alan Nierob, doctors at the hospital said it appeared he died of a heart attack.

Mr Nierob said Shandling had no history of heart trouble..

The award-winning comic created It's Garry Shandling's Show in 1986 and pioneered a form of docudrama comedy which influenced Britain's Ricky Gervais, among others.

Noted for its use of breaking the fourth wall, it featured Shandling essentially playing himself and often speaking directly to the camera.

Shandling followed the Emmy award-nominated series with The Larry Sanders Show in 1992.

Considered by leading critics and industry figures as his comic masterpiece, it starred Shandling as an egotistical late-night TV host.

An innovative HBO series, The Larry Sanders Show also featured celebrities playing parodies of themselves.

Among the many honours the Emmy Award-winning series took home was a Bafta for 1999 outstanding international programme and two British Comedy Awards.

Recently seen in Jerry Seinfeld's web-series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Shandling is featured in The Jungle Book movie, which is set to be released in April.

On his official Twitter account, The Office creator Ricky Gervais tweeted: "RIP the great Garry Shandling. Surely, one of the most influential comedians of a generation."

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