Actor and comedian Garry Shandling dead at 66

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Actor and comedian Garry Shandling, who is best known for his work on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show”, has unexpectedly died in Los Angeles of what appears to be a heart attack. He was 66 years old.

The incident happened at about 10:40 a.m. PT on Thursday when fire crews responded to a 911 call of a medical emergency at Shandling’s home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Brentwood. Shandling was rushed to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

The Los Angeles Fire Department declined to provide further details about the medical emergency, citing federal healthcare privacy laws, but the death was unexpected as Shandling was not known to have suffered from any illness. Sources told entertainment news website TMZ that Shandling died of a sudden, massive heart attack.

Born in Chicago in 1949 but raised in Arizona, Shandling began his show business career in Los Angeles as a writer for “Sanford and Son” and “Welcome Back Kotter”. He later realized he wanted to try stand-up comedy and made his first appearance on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” in 1981.

Within a few years of his appearance on “The Tonight Show,” Shandling created the critically-acclaimed “It’s Gary Shandling’s Show”, which ran for four years and broke the so-called “fourth wall” between performers and the audience. In 1992, Shandling went on to create “The Larry Sanders Show,” which ran until 1998 and received a record-breaking 78 Emmy nominations.

More recently, Shandling hosted the 2004 Emmy Awards and appeared in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and as politician Senator Stern in “Iron Man 2”.

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