Garry Shandling, comic, ‘Larry Sanders Show’ creator, dies

Actor Garry Shandling arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of the play "8" in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Garry Shandling, who as an actor and comedian pioneered a pretend brand of self-focused docudrama with “The Larry Sanders Show,” has died.

Los Angeles Police officer Tony Im said Shandling died Thursday in Los Angeles of an undisclosed cause. He was 66.

Im said officers were dispatched to Shandling’s home Thursday for a reported medical emergency. Shandling was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Im did not have any details on when the call was placed or what the nature of the emergency was. He said police will conduct a death investigation.

Coroner’s spokesman Ed Winter said his office did not yet have any details about Shandling’s death.

The Chicago-born Shandling moved from a short stint in the advertising business to comedy writing and standup.

Then in the 1980s he began to experiment with TV comedy with his first series, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” a Showtime sitcom that called attention to its artificial nature with the actors routinely breaking the fourth wall.

In 1992, he created his comic masterpiece with “The Larry Sanders Show,” which starred him as an egomaniacal late-night TV host with an anxiety-ridden show-biz life behind the scenes.

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