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Saturday 10 December 2016

Larry Sanders Show creator Garry Shandling dies aged 66

Published 24/03/2016 | 21:26

Gary Shandling has died at the age of 66 (AP)
Gary Shandling has died at the age of 66 (AP)

US actor and comedian Garry Shandling, who created the pioneering The Larry Sanders Show, has died.

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Los Angeles Police spokesman Tony Im said Shandling died on Thursday in Los Angeles of an undisclosed cause. He was 66.

Mr Im said officers were sent to Shandling's home for a reported medical emergency. Shandling was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Chicago-born Shandling moved from a short stint in the advertising business to comedy writing and stand-up.

Then in the 1980s he began to experiment with TV comedy with his first series, It's Garry Shandling's Show.

In 1992, he created his comic masterpiece with The Larry Sanders Show, which starred him as an egomaniac late-night TV host with an anxiety-ridden showbiz life behind the scenes.

An innovative and eccentric humourist with pillowy lips and a voice that always seemed on the verge of a whine, Shandling claimed to disdain too much logic cluttering his life.

"The answer isn't going to be in the facts," he said in 2009. "It's going to be in intuition. That's how I work creatively. I'm always teaching people that the answer to that creative question is right here, in the room, between us here."

The news of Shandling's death brought tributes from performers.

"Garry was a guiding voice of comedy," said actor-comedian Bob Odenkirk. "He set the standard and we're all still trying to meet it."

Film-maker Judd Apatow declared: "Garry would see the ridiculousness of me being asked to sum up his life five minutes after being told of his passing. It is a perfect, ridiculous Larry Sanders moment. I am just too sad. Maybe tomorrow I will do better. "

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