Garry Shandling Dead At 66: Actor Reportedly Suffered ‘Massive Heart Attack’

Garry Shandling

Actor Garry Shandling reportedly died Thursday at the age of 66.

According to TMZ, inside sources claim that the former star of The Larry Sanders Show suffered a massive heart attack “with no prior warning whatsoever.”

The report further states that Garry Shandling was healthy, apparently “not suffering from any illness,” and was even speaking to people Thursday morning.

“There was a 911 call from [Garry Shandling’s] home, and he was transported to the hospital. We’re told Shandling was alive when he arrived at the hospital.”

Quite a few people have reacted to Garry Shandling’s death on Twitter since the news of his passing was first announced, including celebrities that knew the comedian personally.

Nearly 16 years ago, while promoting his movie What Planet Are You From? starring Annette Bening and Ben Kingsley, Garry Shandling addressed a common belief about comedians.

According to the archived interview, the longtime comedian and actor was asked to address the saying that “behind every comedian is a painful childhood.”

Usually known for his hilarious punchlines and witty banter, Garry apparently responded with a profound statement that shifted the focus from comedians to mankind in general.

“I think behind every human being is a painful childhood. I think absolutely whatever generates that sense of humor within one is most likely some sort of pain or defense mechanism against that.”

Shandling further explained that his childhood was overall “very good” growing up in Tucson, Arizona. However, he suffered a traumatic experience as a child that changed his viewpoint on life.

“I had an older brother who died when I was 10 and I remember being traumatized by that. I’m sure I became hypersensitive to life at that point, and I remember being 16 and wondering what I was going to be like when I was 40, and then I thought, ‘I wonder if the other kids think about all this stuff?’ So certainly I had a pretty good inner dialogue going that led me to grab a microphone as soon as I was old enough.”

In the late 1970s, Garry Shandling started his career as a stand-up comedian at the Comedy Store located in Los Angeles — the same location where many other famous comedians built their careers.

Along with Alan Zweibel, Shandling created and starred in the hit cable series It’s Garry Shandling’s Show from 1985 to 1990, a successful run that lasted for 72 episodes. He struck gold again with another popular television series in 1992 with the mock talk show sitcom The Larry Sanders Show on HBO. During its run from 1992 to 1998, The Larry Sanders Show gained over 50 Emmy Award nominations and three wins.

In addition to his television career, Garry Shandling was also able to add quite a few big-screen roles to his acting resume over the years, including the role of a crooked senator in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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