Harry Anderson Cause Of Death: ‘Night Court’ Star Died Of A Stroke After Being Struck With The Flu

Richard DrewAP Images

Harry Anderson’s cause of death has been revealed, ending the mystery of the Night Court star’s sudden passing.

The 65-year-old actor and comedian, who was not known to suffer any major health ailments, died in his North Carolina home last week. The sudden passing left fans shocked and brought an outpouring of remembrances both from fans and those who worked alongside Anderson through his work on television. Now, MSN is reporting that Anderson’s death was caused by a stroke, and that influenza and heart disease were contributing factors.

When his death was announced last Monday, the Asheville, North Carolina, police department announced that they responded to a call at his home and arrived to find Anderson dead. No foul play was suspected at the time of his death.

Harry Anderson was remembered as something of a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment industry. Though best known for his work as Judge Harry Stone on the popular sitcom Night Court, he was also an accomplished comedian and magician. As NPR noted in a 1994 profile on Anderson, he actually broke into the entertainment industry as a street performer, showing off card tricks and hustling drinks at bars. After working in several cities including San Francisco and Austin, Texas, Anderson was eventually able to make it to Las Vegas, where he opened for acts like Kenny Rogers.

Anderson went on to write a book about magic, and ran a famed magic shop in the French Quarter in New Orleans, his longtime home. Anderson eventually left the city after criticizing the local government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and settled in North Carolina, where he continued to perform a one-man show. He also performed magic shows at corporate events, making $20,000 for each performance, the Associated Press noted in his obituary published last week.

With Harry Anderson’s cause of death now revealed, there is increased attention on his life and his sudden passing. As the Centers for Disease Control noted, many seasonal flu-related deaths come one or two weeks after an infection, as secondary bacteria infections can be common and influenza has been known to aggravate existing conditions, including congestive heart failure.