'Night Court' Star Harry Anderson's Death Was Unexpected & Shocked Fans & Family
Legendary actor Harry Anderson was well-known for his acting skills, especially on shows like "Night Court." He died a few years ago, and we honor him by taking a look back at his life and final years.
Harry Laverne Anderson was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on October 14, 1952. His parents were Harry Anderson and Suzanne Johnson, and the future star studied at North Hollywood High School.
In 1970, Harry graduated as valedictorian and then went on to teach a course on how to detect confidence ("con") artists and fraudsters before landing in the acting industry.
Harry Anderson performs during The Nobelity Project Dinner on April 10, 2011, in Austin, Texas, and a snippet of him on "Night Court" | Photos: Gary Miller/FilmMagic & NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty Images
However, as a teenager aged 17, Harry joined the Dante Magic Club, where he reportedly made money as a San Francisco street magician. He seemed to have a keen interest in the art of magic and none for acting.
According to IMDb, the future star was once a Three Card Monte dealer in New York City. However, acting was his calling at it found him when he was least expecting it.
Harry Anderson appearing on the "CBS Morning Show" on November 20, 1996, at CBS Studio in New York City | Photo: Derek Storm/FilmMagic/Getty Images
The star's first wife was Leslie Pollack, whom he married in 1977 before they had two children together. Harry's offspring were Dashiell and Eva Anderson, but sadly his marriage to Pollack never lasted forever.
The couple ended up getting divorced in 1999. The actor seemed to find love quickly after that and was married to his second wife, Elizabeth Morgan, the year after, and they stayed together until his April 16, 2018 death.
HOW HARRY GOT INTO ACTING
In 2015, Harry was interviewed by the Bradenton Herald, where he told them one of his first acting gigs was with a guest spot on "Saturday Night Live." He got to appear as the con man Harry "The Hat" Gittes.
After that, he then went on to land his most iconic role on "Night Court." From 1984 until 1992, the star had the pleasure of playing the role of Judge Harry Stone presiding over a fictional Manhattan courtroom on NBC.
"NIGHT COURT'S" NOMINATIONS
The star once revealed that he got the "Night Court" role after producers saw him on "Cheers." From 1985 to 1987, the show was nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards and had 31 nominations in total.
The series ended up winning seven of those awards for its work. Stars that appeared alongside Harry included Markie Post, John Larroquette, Marsha Warfield, Charles Robinson, and Richard Moll.
HIS OTHER ACTING CREDITS
Some of his other acting roles included 1989's "Tales from the Crypt" and 1990's "It." He also starred on "Dave's World," "Son of the Beach," "Parker Lewis Can't Lose," and "The John Larroquette Show."
ANDERSON’S NIGHTCLUB & DOCCIE
In 2005, he opened a nightclub called Oswald's Speakeasy in the New Orleans' French Quarter after moving there in 2000. He performed a one-person show called "Wise Guy" at the club and did other work in the area.
He was in a documentary called "Hexing a Hurricane" that was about the first six months in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, he and his wife moved to Asheville, North Carolina, and sold Oswald's Speakeasy.
LATER ROLES & LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
From 2013, Harry started appearing in the last shows of his final years. He featured on "Comedy Bang! Bang!" that same year, and in 2014 he had a role on "Gotham Comedy Live."
His last film portrayal was as Professor Kaman in 2014's film "A Matter of Faith." Before he got into show business, Harry worked as a live performer for the Green Show at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
The late star’s [Harry Anderson] children [Dashiell and Eva Anderson] followed in his footsteps...
According to Variety, he was also a big fan of jazz singer Mel Torme. His affection for the famous musician was even woven into his Judge Harry Stone television alter ego.
The star passed away unexpectedly at age 65 in Asheville, North Carolina, from a stroke. Asheville Police Department's Public Affairs officer, Christina Hallingse, told The Hollywood Reporter at the time:
"This morning at 6:41 a.m. the Asheville Police Department responded to the home of actor Harry Anderson where he was found deceased. No foul play is suspected."
In July 2021, AmoMama reported on a leaked 911 call from that fateful day. Morgan woke up to find her husband unresponsive, and in her 911, she battled with his passing, informing the operator that she thought he was gone.
She also told the operator that Harry died in his sleep because his body was cold, and the last time she saw him alive was the previous evening. Morgan also said her husband had suffered strokes and flu earlier that year.
"NIGHT COURT'S" REVIVAL
In September 2021, Screen Rant revealed that there was to be an upcoming revival of the 1980's sitcom. However, it would be a completely different series from the original but would share the same DNA.
The late star's children followed in his footsteps, with Dashiell starring as himself in the CBS series, "Harry Anderson: The Tricks of His Trade." Eva works as an actress, comedy enthusiast, writer, and producer.
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