Actor and magician Harry Anderson has died. Best known for his role in Night Court and the original It, Anderson was 65.
Genre fans will remember Anderson as Richie Tozier in the original 1990 TV miniseries for Stephen King's It. Richie, always a joker, was played by Seth Green as a child, with Anderson stepping as the fully-grown character, a late-night television comedian and host.
In addition to It, Anderson appeared on an episode of Tales From the Darkside (and was a magic adviser on a second episode), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Tales From the Crypt. He also wrote an episode of Tales From the Crypt, "Seance," about a couple of con men who try to con the wife of a rich man they accidentally killed with a seance.
However, Anderson is best known for his role as Judge Harry T. Stone on Night Court. The long-running sitcom (1984-1992) starred Anderson as the unconventional judge in night court cases. Young and fun-loving, Judge Stone often performed magic on the bench, and was obsessed with Mel Torme.
Anderson also had a recurring role on Cheers as Harry "The Hat" Gittes, and appeared on nearly a dozen episodes of Saturday Night Live.
Inspired when he saw "wise guys" in a Chicago hotel running card games and performing occasional sleight of hand tricks, Anderson became intrigued by illusions. He trained as a magician, eventually joining the Dante Magic Club and frequenting the historic Magic Castle in Los Angeles.
Anderson died at his home in Asheville, North Carolina. While no cause of death has been released, authorities do not suspect foul play.