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Night Court Star Harry Anderson Passes Away

April 16, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Harry Anderson - Night Court

Harry Anderson, best known for his starring role in 1980s sitcom Night Court, has passed away. Variety reports that Anderson was found dead at his Asheville, North Carolina on Monday. While no cause of death has been released, foul play is not suspected. Anderson was sixty-five.

Anderson grew up not necessarily wanting to be an actor, but a magician. He made money as a street magician in San Francisco in his late teens and had several appearances on Saturday Night Live, which led to his big break as an actor when he played Harry “The Hat” in six episodes of Cheers. That role in turn led him to the role of Harry Stone on Night Court, a goofy judge in a Manhattan night court who had a fondness for magic and a love of Mel Torme’s music. The Mel Torme fandom came from Anderson himself, who was a big fan of the jazz singer in real life. Torme appeared several times on the show, which was a hit for NBC from 1984 to 1992. Anderson earned three Emmy nominations for his work on the show.

Anderson would go on after Night Court to star as Dave Barry in CBS’ Dave’s World from 1993 to 1997. He also starred as adult version of Richie Tozier in ABC’s miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s It. He largely left television after Dave’s World ended, though he would make sporadic guest appearances from time to time. He moved to New Orleans in 2000 where he opened a nightclub and a magic shop in the French Quarter. He moved from New Orleans to North Carolina after Hurricane Katrina tore into the former city.

On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Anderson. He will be missed.