Harry Anderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Harry Anderson (disambiguation).
Harry Anderson
Harry Anderson.jpg
Harry Anderson in 1988.
Born Harry Laverne Anderson
(1952-10-14) October 14, 1952 (age 61)
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Occupation Actor, Writer, Director, Magician
Years active 1978–present
Spouse(s) Leslie Pollack (1977–1999) (divorced)[1]
Elizabeth Morgan (2000–present)
Children Eva Fay Anderson (b. 1981)
Dashiell William Anderson (b. 1985)

Harry Laverne Anderson (born October 14, 1952) is an American actor, writer, director and magician. He is best known for the role of Judge Harry Stone on the 1984-1992 television series Night Court. In addition to eight appearances on Saturday Night Live between 1981 and 1985, Anderson had a recurring guest role as con man "Harry the Hat" on Cheers, toured extensively as a magician, and did several magic/comedy shows for broadcast, including Harry Anderson's Sideshow (1987).

Early life[edit]

Harry Anderson was born October 14, in Newport, Rhode Island. His first exposure to magic began when the Anderson family moved to Chicago. Anderson's father, who was a salesman, would occasionally lead him downstairs to the Ambassador East Hotel where the famous restaurant "The Pump Room" was. There, Anderson discovered wise guys playing card games, hustling and occasionally performing magic tricks. Young Anderson became highly intrigued by the art of conjuring and wanted to learn more about the subject. He eventually had the opportunity to see legendary magician Harry Blackstone, Sr. perform at a show. Anderson was fascinated by the performance and continued to digest all he could about magic. Anderson moved to Los Angeles and attended High School there. Every day after school, he would practice, fine tune and polish his conjuring skills. Anderson attended Buena Park High School before transferring to North Hollywood High School. Apparently he was valedictorian of his 1970 class of North Hollywood High School, when he was only 16. He joined the Dante magic club where he rubbed elbows with close-up magic wizards Paul Harris and Paul Green. He also frequented the "Magic Castle", where he befriended a lot of magicians, including magic legend Dai Vernon. At age 17, Anderson decided to move to San Francisco and worked the streets performing magic. He soon discovered that he could make more money in hustling the crowd. So he incorporated magic tricks and swindling into his routines.

Career[edit]

His copious appearances on Saturday Night Live led to his role as "Harry the Hat" on the first season of Cheers and eventually as Judge Harry Stone on the hit TV show Night Court. Anderson went on to appear in numerous other TV specials and shows, including 12 appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As a magician, Anderson has since toured extensively and performed many comedy/magic shows for clubs and broadcast, including Harry Anderson's Sideshow in 1987.

In 1990, he starred in the successful television adaptation of Stephen King's It as the adult Richie Tozier. The miniseries was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace. From 1993 to 1997, Anderson starred in the sitcom Dave's World, based loosely on the life and columns of humor columnist Dave Barry. Together with longtime friend Turk Pipkin, Anderson wrote a book called Games You Can't Lose: A Guide for Suckers, a collection of gags, cons, tricks and scams. First published in 1989 (ISBN 1-58080-086-6—2001 reprint), this title also contains a survey of "Games You Can't Win" told from an insider's perspective. He appeared with Criss Angel in a TV special called The Science of Magic, later released on DVD.[2]

In November 2008, Anderson played himself on an episode of 30 Rock along with fellow Night Court cast members Markie Post and Charles Robinson.

Personal life[edit]

A longtime Mel Tormé fan, Anderson gave the eulogy at the singer's funeral. Judge Stone in Night Court was also a Tormé fan; the show's creator Reinhold Weege says the fact that Anderson was also a Tormé fan was completely coincidental.[3]

Anderson kept a nominally low profile after Dave's World was canceled. Tired of L.A.'s glaring spotlight, Anderson moved to New Orleans in 2002.[4] In the 1990s, He and his second wife Elizabeth opened a small shop in the French Quarter named "Sideshow"[5] selling various "magic, curiosities, and apocrypha." In the summer of 2005, Anderson also opened a nightclub in the French Quarter called "Oswald's Speakeasy", located at 1331 Decatur Street at the corner of Esplanade Avenue.[6] He performed a one-man show there called Wise Guy.[7]

In August 2006, Anderson and his wife announced their decision to leave New Orleans and move to Asheville, N.C., citing concerns including declining tourism to the city, the re-election of Mayor Ray Nagin, and the depressed mood prevailing in New Orleans.[8] Anderson appears in Hexing a Hurricane, a documentary about the first six months in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.[9] The Andersons sold Oswald's Speakeasy in October 2006, and now reside in Asheville, North Carolina. Anderson continues to present his evening show Wise Guy, which was originally developed for his theater in New Orleans.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Escape Artist Harry Masters
1988 Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs Freddie TV Movie
1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme Peter Piper TV Movie
It Richie Tozier TV miniseries
1998 Harvey Elwood P. Dowd TV Movie
2006 Hexing a Hurricane Himself
2014 A Matter of Faith Professor Kaman Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1981-1984 Saturday Night Live Himself 7 episodes
1982-1993 Cheers Harry 'The Hat' Gittes 6 episodes
1984-1992 Night Court Judge Harold "Harry" T. Stone 193 episodes; also director and writer
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
1985 Tales from the Darkside Leon Episode: "All a Clone by the Telephone"
Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Harry Anderson/Bryan Adams"
1988 Tanner '88 Billy Ridenhour 2 episodes
1988-1989 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Professor Henry Crawford 2 episodes
1990 Tales from the Crypt Jim Korman Episode: "Korman's Kalamity"
1992 Parker Lewis Can't Lose Ronny Ray Rasmussen Episode: "Glory Daze"
1993-1997 Dave's World Dave Barry 98 episodes
1994 Hearts Afire Dave Barry Episode: "Sleepless in a Small Town"
1996 Night Stand with Dick Dietrick Harry Episode: "UFO Mother Show"
The John Larroquette Show Dr. Gates Episode: "Cosmetic Perjury"
1997 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Dr. Klaus 'Fat Head' Mensa Episode: "The Family Hour"
1998 Noddy Jack Fable Episode: "The Magic Show"
2002 Son of the Beach Bull Cracker Episode: "The Long Hot Johnson"
2008 30 Rock Himself Episode: "The One with the Cast of Night Court"

References[edit]

  1. ^ TCM.com
  2. ^ Amazon.com
  3. ^ Interview with Reinhold Weege, Night Court: The Complete First Season Warner Bros. Home Video
  4. ^ People Magazine, October 21, 2002
  5. ^ "New Orleans, LA - Feejee Mermaid, Animal Freaks - Closed". Roadsideamerica.com. 2007-01-24. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  6. ^ By. "Harry Anderson's Oswald's Speakeasy and Sideshow". FrenchQuarter.com. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  7. ^ "Harry Anderson in Wise Guy, Oswald’s Speakeasy, August 3, 2005 :: offBeat :: Louisiana and New Orleans Online Music Resource". offBeat. 2005-09-01. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  8. ^ New York Times, August 30, 2006
  9. ^ "Filmography". ten18films.com. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 

External links[edit]