Famed comedian Garry Shandling has died at 66, ABC News has confirmed.
According to Los Angeles Police Officer Tony Kim, the comedian was pronounced dead at an L.A.-area hospital Thursday.
Shandling, known for "The Larry Sanders Show," was born in Chicago and got his first break in 1973, when he sold a script for "Sanford and Son." Writing jobs for "Three's Company" and "The Harvey Korman Show" followed, though he found that the lifestyle made him miserable. Ultimately, a near-fatal car accident in 1977 inspired him to try something new: stand-up.
He wanted to "inflict more pain on myself and learn more about myself by pursuing stand-up," he once joked to Rolling Stone "but I was not a natural performer."
Still, Shandling soon became a regular on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," before landing a show of his own, called "It's Garry Shandling's Show," in 1985. It lasted for four seasons, and then, in 1992, he launched "The Larry Sanders Show" for HBO, a series about a talk show host, which went on to win three Emmys.
"I think it's a show about human behavior and the hypocrisy we all possess," he told Rolling Stone of the series, which co-starred the likes of Jeffrey Tambor, Rip Torn, and Sarah Silverman. "My models were 'King of Comedy,' 'Broadcast News' and 'Network' and movies that depicted the underbelly of show business."
During that time, Shandling, who never married, also hosted the Grammy Awards several times, and then, the primetime Emmys. More recently, he began appearing more in films, with small roles in "Zoolander," "Iron Man 2," and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." He also continued to do stand-up.
"I think I’m better than ever," he told Entertainment Weekly in 2012.
"I go on a talk show when I have something to say. I’ve done a lot. I think Larry misses the limelight more than I do by a hair. But Larry just has to go out and do some jokes. I have to do something that matters to me," Shandling said. "You know, I’m proud of Larry Sanders and proud of every single person who went on that journey. It’s a very special show to me, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons from it. I need to find something where I can learn some more lessons and then I’ll do that project."
A rep for Shandling has not yet responded to requests for comment.