Garry Shandling, the influential comedian and actor best known for “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” reportedly died today at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 66. The news was first reported by TMZ, but details are available.
Shandling, whose career spanned four decades, played Sen. Stern in 2010’s “Iron Man 2,” a role he reprised in 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
“Garry Shandling was as kind and generous as he was funny and that is saying a lot,” Jimmy Kimmel wrote this afternoon on Twitter. I “I am so saddened to hear this,” tweeted Albert Brooks. “Brilliantly funny and such a great guy. He will be so missed.”
Born in Chicago and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Shandling earned a marketing degree from the University of Arizona, and in 1973 moved to Los Angeles, where he sold a script to “Sanford and Son” — the first of four. He shifted into stand-up comedy in 1978, and made several appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” before becoming the permanent guest host.
In 1986 he co-created the surreal comedy “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” which aired for four seasons on Showtime, with Shandling starring as a fictionalized version of himself: a neurotic, self-obsessed comedian who was aware he appeared on a television show. He followed that in 1992 with “The Larry Sanders Show,” the acclaimed HBO sitcom set in the office and studio of a late-night talk show, with Shandling as the host.
In addition to “The Tonight Show,” Shandling hosted the Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards on more than a half-dozen occasions. In addition to his own shows, his acting credits include “The X-Files,” “Dr. Dolittle,” “Zoolander” and the aforementioned “Iron Man 2,” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” where he appeared in the meme-launching “Hail Hydra” scene.