Many remember actor and comedian Harry Anderson as Judge Harry T. Stone on the sitcom Night Court, which ran from 1984 to 1992. Today, fans mourn the death of Harry Anderson, who died of natural causes, according to TMZ. Anderson was also known for his appearances on Saturday Night Live, Dave’s World and Cheers.
Fox News has reported that Anderson died at his home in Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday morning at 6:41 a.m. local time, April 16, 2018. Anderson was 65 years old. An Asheville Police spokeswoman told Fox that no foul play is suspected. Anderson is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, and their children. Get to know more about Anderson and the family he left behind in our facts below.
1. This Was Anderson’s Second Marriage
Prior to meeting Morgan, Anderson was married to first wife Leslie Pollack in 1977 and the ex-couple divorced in 1999. The following year, in 2000, Anderson and Morgan tied the knot. Anderson and his first wife had two children together – a son and daughter. The two cited irreconcilable differences in their divorce filing.
Pollack was also in the entertainment field. She was an actress as well as a magician, which was a bond she shared with Anderson, who was also a magic enthusiast. According to Turner Classic Movies, Anderson used magic as an escape in his teens, after moving around throughout his childhood. His father was a traveling salesman and so, his mother primarily raised him. After leaving her husband, Anderson’s mother moved all over the country and even worked as a prostitute.
When they moved to Las Vegas, Anderson became interested in cards. He eventually went to live with his father, at age 16, and he found a love for magic. And, after graduating, Anderson turned to street magic to make a living. He ended up getting discovered by a talent agent when he was performing at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle Hotel.
2. Anderson’s Son Dashiell Reported His Father’s Death
Son Dashiell spoke with TMZ about his father’s passing, reporting that Anderson died of natural causes. An official statement from the Asheville Police Department stated, “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.”
Dashiell appeared as herself in one of his father’s projects, titled Harry Anderson: The Tricks of His Trade. The special aired in 1996 and was a one man CBS show that focused on classic close-up magic and card tricks, according to IMDb.
While Anderson worked for many years as a magician, he earned recognition as an actor. When he got his leading role on Night Court, he said to People that, “I don’t think doing television can be called going straight. I mean, how much can anyone really work to earn that much money? There’s a certain element of swindle involved, but it’s one of those wonderful swindles where you don’t have to run away.” Anderson’s early workings as a street magician sometimes got him into trouble.
3. Morgan Fell Into a Depression After Braving Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans
When Morgan and Anderson married, Anderson left Hollywood to live in New Orleans, Louisiana with Morgan. The couple braved Hurricane Katrina together, but the decline in the economy created a depression and caused Morgan to become withdrawn, as she told the NY Times that, “It was an empty time. I was getting farther and farther away from other people, and happiness.” She said that her passion for her businesses with husband Anderson had gone.
In New Orleans, Anderson and Morgan had a small shop in the French Quarter named Sideshow, which was a magic and curiosity shop, according to Hollywood Life. The couple also owned a nightclub called Oswald’s Speakeasy. After Katrina hit, before power had even returned to the city, Anderson and his wife opened their club for what Anderson called French Quarter Town Hall meetings, as reported by the NY Times. These were weekly gatherings with locals, that soon evolved into a de facto government that garnered the attention of city officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.
According to Turner Classic Movies, after Hurricane Katrina, Anderson became an outspoken critic of the government and New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin. He and wife Morgan ended up leaving New Orleans and moving to Asheville in 2006.
4. Anderson’s Daughter Eva Works As a Writer
Anderson also had a daughter, who is named Eva Fay Anderson, which made Morgan her stepmother. Eva Fay has also worked in the entertainment industry and, according to her IMDb page, she has also worked as a producer. She is known for projects including You’re the Worst and A Kiss from Daddy.
After news of her father’s death broke, Anderson retweeted a post made by Judd Apatow, who wrote about a heartwarming interview he conducted with Anderson when he was just a teenager. Apatow wrote, “I interviewed Harry Anderson when I was 15 years old and he was so kind, and frank and hilarious. The interview is in my book “Sick In The Head”. He was a one of a kind talent who made millions so happy.” Today, Apatow is a well-known producer, comedian, and director, who is married to actress Leslie Mann. Mann has appeared in a lot of Apatow’s films, like Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This Is 40, Funny People and The Cable Guy.
In response to Apatow’s sweet message online, Anderson’s daughter Eva wrote that, “My father loved that interview and shared it with us just before your book was published. Thank you so much for capturing him at that moment in his life. It is an incredibly special thing to have.”
5. Actress DeLane Matthews Played Anderson’s Sitcom Wife for Several Years
Dave’s World was a sitcom that starred Anderson and aired on CBS from 1993 to 1997. On the show, Anderson played the role of Dave Barry, who had his own on-screen family. Dave’s World followed the ups and downs of a columnist and his home life. Character Dave’s wife Beth was played by DeLane Matthews, while their sons Tommy and Willie were played by young actors Zane Carney and Andrew Ducote. The character Dave Barry worked at the fictional Miami Record-Dispatch, while the show was loosely based on actual Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry.
Anderson was married to ex-wife Leslie Pollack at the time of the show and during the run of the show, the real Dave Barry actually divorced his wife Beth. On the show, the character Beth was played by Matthews, who was most known for this project. Prior to getting into television, Matthews started out in the theatre.
For years, Matthews had guest appearances on hit shows including Murphy Brown, Quantum Leap, Cold Case, Nip/Tuck, Castle, The Shield and Saving Grace. From 2001 – 2003, Matthews appeared on the ABC soap opera General Hospital, in the role of Janine Matthews.
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