Legendary comedian and actor Garry Shandling was a wealthy guy, but his wealth went well beyond his money. Shandling was a friend and mentor to countless comedians and actors in Hollywood, and those friends gathered one last time to remember Shandling on Sunday.
Shandling, who passed away suddenly on Thursday afternoon at the age of 66 of a suspected heart attack, was a huge basketball fan. As such, he began the tradition over ten years ago of having friends over at his house for pick up basketball games every Sunday. The gatherings were usually full of faces recognizable to any comedy fan: Kevin Nealon, Judd Apatow, Kathy Griffin, Richard Lewis, Sarah Silverman, Bill Maher, Jeffrey Tambor, and Ben Shwartz were just a few of the friends who could could be seen working up a sweat on Shandling’s home court in Mandeville Canyon over the years.
A large group of of these fellow comedians, actors and friends held one last game at Shandling’s home yesterday, posing for what is arguably one of the most diverse celebrity group photos in recent memory. Judd Apatow posted the group photo to his Instagram account with the caption “One last game of basketball at Garry’s house to say goodbye.”
On his Twitter account, Apatow posted a series of photos of Shandling over the years with celebrities such as Jon Stewart, Ellen Degeneres, Warren Beatty, and Rip Torn, memorializing his late friend. Sarah Silverman also posted some pictures of her and Shandling on the basketball court.
Yesterday we lost our most brilliant comic mind & I lost the most generous loving mentor & friend. Who will I guard? pic.twitter.com/6NFGMYi5gv
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 25, 2016
Shandling is a comedy legend who essentially changed the face of comedy on television. His Showtime series It’s Garry Shandling’s Show was critically acclaimed for its clever writing and inventive style of breaking the fourth wall at every possible turn. Similarly, his HBO original series The Larry Sanders Show (one of HBO’s first original productions) is still remembered to this day as one of the most brilliant satirical shows to ever grace the small screen.
While all signs point to the comedians cause of death being a heart attack, his doctor has refused to sign his death certificate. The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office has taken over the investigation, and are waiting to make an official announcement pending toxicology results.