Arts&Culture

Night Court's Harry Anderson Dies at 65

Night Court's Harry Anderson Dies at 65

John Larroquette, Markie Post, Richard Moll, Charles Robinson and Marsha Warfield starred alongside Mr. Anderson. He'd joined the Dante Magic Club in his teens and reportedly made money as a street magician in San Francisco when he was 17.

Born in 1952, in Newport, RI, Anderson took a career as a professional magician and combined it with a kind of slick, sharp wit of a comedian charlatan, and became one of the best known television personalities during the 1980s, first with memorable appearances on Cheers as grifter extraordinaire Harry the Hat. That role in turn led him to the role of Harry Stone on Night Court, a goofy judge in a Manhattan night court who had a fondness for magic and a love of Mel Torme's music. "I'm a magician, or a performer, by nature, and that's always what I've been", Mr. Anderson told WGN-TV in Chicago in 2014. They named the character Harry so I'd keep in mind to react when someone said my name. The series, which ran from 1984 through 1992, made up part of NBC's "Must-See TV" Thursday night lineup that also included The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers. He told The New York Times at the time that the depression that gripped the city after the hurricane had depressed both his audience and his outlook on life.

Anderson said he never planned on becoming an actor.

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After the show ended, Anderson was cast in the lead role in the CBS sitcom Dave's World, which was based on the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry.

Anderson eventually returned to live performance.

A 2006 New York Times article said Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, also opened Oswald's Speakeasy, a nightclub in the French Quarter where Anderson would perform his one-man show 'Wise Guy'. He sold his home in Pasadena, California, and moved back to New Orleans, where he had lived in the 1970s. "I can settle back and do what I want to do".

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