Garry Shandling Dies; Beloved Comedian Was 66

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Garry Shandling - the comedian best known as the star and creator on the sitcoms It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show - has passed away at the age of 66.

Garry Shandling Photo

The cause of death is unknown at this time, and sources close to Shandling say he was not being treated for any illnesses.

Shandling's contribution to the world of TV comedy cannot be overstated.

With Larry Sanders he pioneered the single-camera, laugh track-free format that would later be mimicked by such series as The Office, Modern Family, and 30 Rock.

Shandling and his writers also helped to establish the ribald-yet-highbrow style of humor that continues to define HBO sitcoms to this day.

Shandling racked up dozens of film and television roles in his genre- and generation-spanning career. 

Younger fans have taken to Twitter to mourn the loss of the man they know as Senator Stern from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Comedians, on the other hand, are singing Shandling's praises as master of the art of standup, as well as one of the world's most widely-imitated television writers.

Shandling made the leap from advertising to comedy in 1973 when he sold a script for the classic sitcom Sanford and Son.

Little he did know then that he would forever change the face of TV comedy.