‘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

Red Deer massage therapist not guilty of sexual assault

Judge said he had reasonable doubt and must acquit

Ten dead, 15 injured in van incident authorities call an horrific attack

TORONTO — The death toll rose to at least 10 late Monday… Continue reading

Watch: Flood watch remains for Waskasoo Creek

Red Deer crews monitoring creek

Warm temperatures this week for Red Deer

23 C forecast for Saturday

Feds to post deficits $8B bigger than expected over next two years: PBO report

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is on track to run deficits nearly… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

Ten dead, 15 injured in van incident authorities call an horrific attack

TORONTO — The death toll rose to at least 10 late Monday… Continue reading

Andersen leads Maple Leafs in win over Bruins to force Game 7

Maple Leafs 3 Bruins 1 (Best of seven game series tied at… Continue reading

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Anti-straw movement should consider people with disabilities, advocates say

TORONTO — Some Canadians who rely on plastic straws are calling on… Continue reading

Doctors must get better at diagnosing patients with darker skin: Dermatologists

TORONTO — About a month ago, a frustrated Emma Schmidt turned to… Continue reading

Loblaw Companies tax court trial over Barbadian banking subsidiary starts

TORONTO — A tax court trial involving Loblaw Companies Ltd. and allegations… Continue reading

As trial winds down, DA downplays Cosby travel records

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Prosecutors highlighted gaps in Bill Cosby’s travel records on… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month