‘Night Court’ star Harry Anderson, 65, found dead in home

Harry Anderson, the actor best known for playing an off-the-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, Rhode Island, 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.

“The Shakespeare Festival at Ashland, Oregon, seemed like a good place to open a magic store,” he said. “At 18, I was ready for retirement. It didn’t last long, but I was established as the magician. I worked the streets in San Francisco and I did magic and special effects at the festival.”

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 now 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 humour 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.’ That includes magic shows for corporate clients (“Fifty-five minutes with applause,” says Anderson) at $20,000 a pop.

According to the story, Anderson was disenchanted by the prospect of chasing acting roles into middle age. “I don’t understand why guys have that Don Knotts syndrome of having to be out there.” He sold his home in Pasadena, California, and moved back to New Orleans, where he had lived in the 1970s.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he moved to Asheville.

Anderson had two children from his first marriage to Leslie Pollack. His second wife, Elizabeth Morgan, is among his survivors. There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements Monday night.

Just Posted

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

The Latest: Cosby judge weighs hearing on ‘predator’ status

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sentencing hearing (all times… Continue reading

Mystery around disappearance of Chinese star Fan Bingbing

BEIJING — X-Men star Fan Bingbing’s Beijing management office is dark and… Continue reading

Will Smith bungee jump is latest stunt near Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — At the end of the 1991 movie “Thelma &… Continue reading

Score! Scrabble dictionary adds ‘OK,’ ‘ew’ to official play

NEW YORK — Scrabble players, time to rethink your game because 300… Continue reading

Actor James Woods bashes Twitter after getting locked out

MINNEAPOLIS — Actor James Woods has been locked out of his Twitter… Continue reading

Mandela: A life of soaring symbolism, now harnessed by UN

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela’s South African journey from anti-apartheid leader to prisoner… Continue reading

The Latest: UN leader calls drug problem ‘alarming’

CAMEROON, Cameroon — The Latest on the United Nations General Assembly (all… Continue reading

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived at the… Continue reading

Most Read