BREAKING: Garry Shandling Dead at 66

TMZ is reporting that comedian Garry Shandling died at a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday. They write:

The 66-year-old star was not suffering from any illness … as far as we know … so, it appears this was sudden. A source connected to Shandling says he was healthy and speaking to people on Thursday morning.

Information is sketchy, but a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter. As of 2:00pm PST, his representatives have not spoken to the media.  New York Daily News is reporting, “that Shandling had collapsed suddenly and been rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, where he later died.”

There is one source that told TMZ a 911 call was made from the star’s home, and that “Shandling was alive when he arrived at the hospital.” So far the cause of death has not been announced.

Industry pub, Daily Variety, created a brief bio of the comedian’s life. His first break in Hollywood came after selling a script for the sitcom Sanford and Son. He then went on to write for Welcome Back, Kotter and guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and was even considered for Carson’s replacement. But it was in the 1980s that he really hit the big time. They write:

In 1986, he created his own sitcom “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” for Showtime. The show was nominated for four Emmys, and ran until 1990. The show was noted for being one that often broke the fourth wall, with Shandling speaking directly to the audience, and he played a version of himself: a stand-up comedian aware of the fact that he is a sitcom character.

His second show came with “The Larry Sanders Show” on HBO, which ran from 1992 to 1998. He starred and co-created the comedy, set in the office of a fictional late-night talk show, with Dennis Klein. Shandling was nominated for 18 Emmys for the show and, along with Peter Tolan, won an Emmy for the series finale.

Read more about Shandling’s life and career on Daily Variety.

[Photo: Getty Images]