‘Night Court’ star found dead in home

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE -

Harry Anderson, the ac­tor best known for play­ing an offthe-wall judge work­ing the night shift of a Man­hat­tan court room in the tele­vi­sion com­edy se­ries “Night Court,” was found dead in his North Carolina home Mon­day.

Anderson was 65. A state­ment from the Asheville Po­lice Depart­ment said of­fi­cers re­sponded to a call from Anderson’s home early Mon­day and found him dead. The state­ment said foul play is not sus­pected.

On “Night Court,” Anderson played Judge Harry T. Stone, a young jurist who pro­fessed his love for singer Mel Torme, ac­tress Jean Har­low, magic tricks and his col­lec­tion of art-deco ties.

He also starred in the se­ries “Dave’s World” and ap­peared on “Cheers” as con man Harry ‘The Hat’ Gittes.

Anderson prided him­self on be­ing a ma­gi­cian as well as ac­tor.

“I got into magic when I was a child,” he told The As­so­ci­ated Press in 1987. “Un­like most kids, I stayed with it. My high school teach­ers were al­ways ask­ing me what I was go­ing to do. It made me what I am to­day — avail­able for week­end em­ploy­ment, par­ties and bar mitz­vahs.”

Anderson was born in New­port, R.I., on Oct. 14, 1952. He grew up in New York and moved to Ore­gon when he was a teenager and said that’s where he be­came a hip­pie.

Anderson learned the ropes as a street per­former in San Fran­cisco, New Or­leans, and Austin, Texas, among other cities. When he made his first ap­pear­ance on “Satur­day Night Live,” he was right off the street.

“Cheers’ was my first act­ing job, but it was ba­si­cally the char­ac­ter I had de­vel­oped on the street,” he said. “That’s how I made my liv­ing, hus­tling drinks in bars and quar­ters on the street.”

“Night Court” ran on NBC from 1984 un­til 1992, and Anderson re­ceived three lead com­edy ac­tor Emmy nom­i­na­tions for his role. Af­ter the show ended, he was cast in the lead role in the CBS sit­com “Dave’s World,” which was based on the life of Pulitzer Prize-win­ning hu­mor colum­nist Dave Barry. That se­ries ran from 1993 un­til 1997.

A Peo­ple mag­a­zine story in 2002 said Anderson dis­ap­peared from Hol­ly­wood and resur­faced as the owner of a New Or­leans magic shop.

“I am richer than Davy Crock­ett,” Anderson said in the story. “I can set­tle back and do what I want to do. And what I want to do is card tricks and magic.”

Anderson had two chil­dren from his first mar­riage to Leslie Pol­lack. His sec­ond wife, El­iz­a­beth Mor­gan, is among his sur­vivors.

HARRY ANDERSON Starred on “Night Court”

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