Garry Shandling: Hollywood Remembers Comedian & ‘Larry Sanders’ Creator-Star

By Scott Shilstone, Anthony D'Alessandro


UPDATE with reactions from Jim Carrey and Wallace Langham: Garry Shandling, who died Thursday in Los Angeles at 66, was known best by many as the creator and star of the long-running HBO series The Larry Sanders Show, rightly considered one of history’s landmark comedy series. But Shandling had an illustrious career in Hollywood in both TV and film after his beginnings on the stand-up circuit and then being invited to guest host on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson beginning in the early 1980s. His death brought condolences from around the entertainment industry:

Jeffrey Tambor, The Larry Sanders Show co-star:

“I am so sad. Garry was my dear friend and was and always will be my teacher. Garry redesigned the wheel of comedy and he was the kindest and funniest of Geniuses. I will miss him so much.”

Rip Torn, The Larry Sanders Show co-star:

“How sadly early to lose such a fine artist.  Working with him was one of the great privileges of my career.  He was a comic talent of immense originality who enthusiastically encouraged and responded to the originality of others.”

Bob Odenkirk, comedian and writer:

“Garry was a guiding voice of comedy. He set the standard and we’re all still trying to meet it. He gave us all opportunities to learn how to do the best work of our lives. But, more importantly, as I knew him these last few years, he was a person who never stopped trying to be a better person. That’s yet another way he inspired me and I’m sure many others who knew him.”

Wallace Langham, actor
“The first time I met Garry, I was in a room waiting to audition for The Larry Sanders Show pilot. He poked his head in the doorway, looked at me and said, ‘Oh, I can’t be In this room. There’s too much desperation in this room.’ It broke the ice, disarmed me, and set the tone for our relationship. I’ll miss him.”

Jim Carrey, actor-comedian:

“When you get the light in a comedy club you know your time is up. Life doesn’t always give you a signal. Garry Shandling performed at the highest level on and offstage. He was an excellent man and he was more than ready for the Big Show. Bravo Garry! Yours was a life well lived.”

Statement from HBO:

“Garry ushered in the modern period of original programming at HBO with his brilliant masterpiece, The Larry Sanders Show.  All of us at HBO have a special place in our hearts for him not only for his enormous talent but for his kindness and decency.  We will miss him terribly.”

Statement from UTA:

“Garry was an irrepressible force in comedy and in life, and his body of work will forever be cherished.  He brought a smile to our faces on screen and in person, and was a most generous mentor to so many talented comedic minds.  It was a true privilege to have him in our lives as both a friend and client. We will miss him dearly.”

Chris Albrecht, Starz CEO:

“I’m shocked and saddened. As a fan and friend, I will truly  miss him.”

David Steinberg, comedian:

“What a loss. One of the true comic geniuses ever. I can’t  imagine a world without Garry’s take on things. He was a caring and generous person. I will miss him so much.”

Steve Mosko, chairman of Sony Pictures Television:

“Today we lost a comedic genius and a very dear friend. Garry entertained millions of people and was an inspiration to generations of comedians, actors and writers. He will be greatly missed.”

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