Actor Garry Shandling, best known for his work as a stand-up comedian and time on numerous series including The Larry Sanders Show, died at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica Thursday, TMZ reports.
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.
Born in Chicago, he was raised in Tucson, Ariz., and started out majoring in electrical engineering before completing a marketing degree at the University of Arizona.
In 1986, his own sitcom, It's Garry Shandling's Show premiered on Showtime. It ran until 1990 and was nominated for four Emmys.
Shandling's art-imitates-life creation, The Larry Sanders Show, inspired artists such as Ricky Gervais, who co-created The Office with Stephen Merchant, a British comedian.
"Garry Shandling was as kind and generous as he was amusing and that is saying a lot", Jimmy Kimmel tweeted. In a twist of fate, the episode was entitled, "It's Great that Garry Shandling is Still Alive".
Shandling entered the comedy scene in earnest in the late '70s, reportedly after he experienced a near-death experience in the form of a vehicle accident at the age of 27 (via The Hollywood Reporter), which prompted the then-writer to try his hand as a full-time performer.
He starred in the critically acclaimed Larry Sanders Show from 1992 to 1998.
"I have to tell you that this is a devastating shock to me and just about everybody I know", O'Brien said in his somber monologue. "Now, like all great entertainers, he leaves us wanting more".
"Sunday, my longtime friend Garry Shandling was here, making every1 laugh".
Shandling was a hugely influential comedian, renowned for his neurotic observational humour, especially about romantic relationships, and the way he mocked showbiz in his ground-breaking TV shows. Shandling was more than that and the older generation can attest to that. I think Larry misses the limelight more than I do by a hair.