Comic actor Harry Anderson, who cracked jokes from the bench on the 1980s sitcom “Night Court,” has died at age 65, a South Carolina TV station reports.
WSPA says Anderson died Monday morning at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. No foul play is suspected, the station said.
Anderson won three Emmy nominations for playing the cheery and unconventional Judge Harry Stone on NBC from 1984 to 1992.
Before his acting success, Anderson was a hustler and a magician, a talent the Rhode Island native picked up as a boy when he spent some months in Chicago with his divorced mother. He told the Sun-Times in 1986 he was introduced to card tricks and three-card monte during the Chicago stay.
“I always enjoyed taking people’s money — always,” Anderson said then. “Besides, I’m not really taking people’s money. What is it they say? ‘A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.’ You don’t own it, you haven’t eaten it. So you don’t own it. It’s just circulating, and I’m glad to be part of the chain.”
He used his flim-flam skills in his breakout TV role as con man Harry “The Hat” Gitties on “Cheers.” Those guest spots led to the “Night Court” gig, where he co-starred with John Larroquette and Markie Post.
After that show’s demise, he played columnist Dave Barry on the CBS sitcom “Dave’s World” for two seasons.