Anderson in 1988
Harry Laverne Anderson
October 14, 1952
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||April 16, 2018 (aged 65)|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, magician|
Harry Laverne Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018) was an American actor, comedian, and magician. He is best known for the lead role of Judge Harry Stone on the 1984–1992 television series Night Court, and later starred in the sitcom Dave's World from 1993 to 1997.
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" Gittes on Cheers, toured extensively as a magician, and did several magic/comedy shows for broadcast, including Harry Anderson's Sideshow (1987). He played Richie Tozier in the 1990 miniseries It, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.
Harry Anderson was born October 14, 1952, in Newport, Rhode Island. Anderson spent much of his childhood moving from performing on the streets of Chicago, New York, St. Louis and New Orleans before landing in California at the age of 16. He was drawn to the art of magic in his youth. After moving to Los Angeles, he practiced his skills often. He joined the Dante Magic Club in his teens and reportedly made money as a street magician in San Francisco when he was 17. He attended Buena Park High School before graduating from North Hollywood High School in 1970 as class valedictorian. From 1971 to 1976 he lived in Ashland, Oregon, performing magic and working with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Anderson's many appearances on Saturday Night Live led to his role as Harry "The Hat" Gittes on several seasons of the television sitcom Cheers, and eventually as Judge Harry Stone on the sitcom Night Court. Anderson went on to appear in other television specials and shows, including 12 appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As a magician, Anderson toured extensively and performed in comedy/magic shows for clubs and broadcast, including Harry Anderson's Sideshow in 1987. In 1990, he starred in the television adaptation of Stephen King's It as the adult Richie Tozier. From 1993 to 1997, Anderson starred in the television 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 978-1-58080-086-0, 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.
He moved from Pasadena, California, to New Orleans in 2002. In 2002, he and his second wife Elizabeth, whom he met in New Orleans while she was bartending, opened a small shop in the French Quarter named "Spade & Archer Curiosities by Appointment" (later named "Sideshow"), selling various "magic, curiosities, and apocrypha".
In 2005, Anderson opened a nightclub in the French Quarter called Oswald's Speakeasy, located at 1331 Decatur Street at the corner of Esplanade Avenue. He performed a one-man show there called Wise Guy.
Anderson appeared in Hexing a Hurricane, a documentary about the first six months in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He and his wife Elizabeth sold Oswald's Speakeasy in October 2006. Anderson continued to present his evening show Wise Guy, which was originally developed for his theater in New Orleans.
In his final years, Anderson appeared in television comedy series such as in Comedy Bang! Bang! (2013) and Gotham Comedy Live (2014). His final film portrayal was as Professor Kaman in the 2014 Christian drama film A Matter of Faith.
Anderson was a longtime fan of singer Mel Tormé and his character Judge Stone on Night Court was also a Tormé fan; the singer appeared on the sitcom six times (as himself). Night Court's creator Reinhold Weege stated that Anderson being a Tormé fan like his character was completely coincidental. Anderson was among those who delivered eulogies at the singer's funeral in 1999.
Anderson was married twice. In 1977, he married Leslie Pollack [b. 1953]. Leslie and Harry had two children together. They divorced in 1999. In 2000 he married Elizabeth Morgan [b. 1973]. In 2006, Anderson and his wife Elizabeth moved from New Orleans to Asheville, North Carolina.
In late January 2018, Anderson had a bout of influenza, and subsequently suffered several strokes. On April 16, 2018, Anderson died in his sleep of a stroke due to influenza and heart disease at his home in Asheville, North Carolina, at the age of 65.
|1982||The Escape Artist||Harry Masters|||
|1988||She's Having a Baby||Harry Anderson||Uncredited|
|2006||Hexing a Hurricane||Himself|||
|2014||A Matter of Faith||Professor Kaman|||
|1981–1985||Saturday Night Live||Himself||8 episodes|
|1982–1993||Cheers||Harry "The Hat" Gittes||6 episodes|
|1984–1992||Night Court||Judge Harold "Harry" T. Stone||193 episodes; also occasional director and writer|
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1984–86)
|1985||Tales from the Darkside||Leon||Episode: "All a Clone by the Telephone"|
|1986||Vanishing America||Dog Owner||Short Television Film|
|1988||Tanner '88||Billy Ridenhour||2 episodes|
|1988||Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs||Freddie||TV Movie|
|1988||D.C. Follies||Harry Anderson||01 Episode|
|1988||The Absent-Minded Professor||Professor Henry Crawford||Movie (remake)|
|1990||Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme||Peter Piper||TV Movie|
|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"|
|1996||The John Larroquette Show||Dr. Gates||Episode: "Cosmetic Perjury"|
|1996||Harvey||Elwood P. Dowd||TV Movie (remake)|
|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"|
|2013||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Himself||Episode: "Rainn Wilson Wears a Short Sleeved Plaid Shirt & Colorful Sneakers"|
|2014||Gotham Comedy Live||Himself||Episode: "Harry Anderson"|
|1997||Nightmare Ned||Graveyard Shadow Creature / Grampa Ted Needlemeyer||Voice|
|1982||Wenii: The Intentional Confusers' Magazine||A spoof on the magic magazine
Genii: The Conjurers' Magazine
|1989||Harry Anderson's Games You Can't Lose: A Guide For Suckers||ISBN 978-0671647278|
|1993||Harry Anderson: Wise Guy From The Street To The Screen||ISBN 978-0915181254|
|2001||Games You Can't Lose: A Guide For Suckers||ISBN 978-1580800860|
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- The Science of Magic. Amazon.com
- "Hocus Focus: Sayonara, Sitcoms. Harry Anderson, a Magician at Heart, Happily Hawks Mumbo Jumbo in the Land of Gumbo". People. 58 (17). October 21, 2002. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- "New Orleans, Louisiana: Feejee Mermaid, Animal Freaks (Closed)". RoadsideAmerica.com. January 24, 2007. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
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- Schwartz, John (August 30, 2006). "For Harry Anderson, the New Orleans Magic Is Gone". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- Canning, Robert (November 14, 2008). "30 Rock: "The One With the Cast of Night Court" Review". IGN TV. Retrieved March 18, 2010.
- "Harry Anderson Dies: 'Night Court' Star & 'Cheers' Actor Was 65". Deadline Hollywood. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Night Court's Harry Anderson to preside over another fake argument in Creationism movie". The A.V. Club. May 2, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Weege, Reinhold. "DVD Extras". Night Court: The Complete First Season (Interview). Warner Bros. Home Video.
- "Services Today for Mel Torme". Los Angeles Times. June 8, 1999. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- Cullen, Frank (2007). Vaudeville, old & new : an encyclopedia of variety performers in America. Hackman, Florence, McNeilly, Donald. New York: Routledge. pp. 25. ISBN 978-0415938532. OCLC 62430748.
- "Harry Anderson's Death Certificate" (PDF). TMZ. April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Harry Anderson, 'Night Court' Star, Dies at 65". Time. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Harry Anderson, 'Night Court' star, dead at 65: report". Daily News. New York. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs". TMC. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "The Absent-Minded Professor". TMC. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Night Stand With Dick Dietrick Episodes". TV Guide. Retrieved April 1, 2018.
- "Harry Anderson, "Night Court" Actor, Dead at 65". Rolling Stone. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Harry Anderson, "Night Court" Star, Dies at 65". Los Angeles Times. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Harry Anderson, Who Played Richie Tozier in "It", Has Died at 65". Syfy. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Gotham Comedy Club: Harry Anderson". Gotham Comedy Club. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.