Celebrated comic actor Harry Anderson, best known for his role on Night Court, died at his home in Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday, ET can confirm. He was 65.
Asheville Police Department Public Information Officer Christina Hallingse told ET that police were called to Anderson’s home at 6:41 a.m., where the actor was found dead. Police noted that “no foul play is suspected.”
Anderson’s first memorable role came when he played Harry “The Hat” Gittes in several episodes of the first season of Cheers. His performance on the hit sitcom — along with several appearances doing standup on Saturday Night Live — led to his breakthrough role as Judge Harry Stone on the NBC sitcom Night Court.
Set during the night shift of a municipal court in New York City, Anderson’s iconic character was a young, wacky and unorthodox judge who presided over cases tried by several idiosyncratic public defenders — played by Paula Kelly, Ellen Foley and Markie Post — as well as the narcissistic prosecutor, Dan Fielding, played by John Larroquette in what turned out to be his career-making role. Richard Moll played the court’s iconic bailiff, Bull.
The acclaimed show ran for nine seasons, from 1984 to 1992. Anderson earned three Emmy nominations for his performance.
Anderson, Post and Charlie Robinson — who played a court clerk on Night Court — all starred as themselves in a 2008 episode of 30 Rock titled “The One With the Cast of Night Court.” In the very meta episode, Tracy Morgan’s character, Tracy Jordan, hires the actors to reprise their roles from the show to shoot a more satisfying final episode that Night Court‘s famously disappointing series finale.
After Night Court came to an end, Anderson starred in the CBS sitcom…