Since the day Night Court debuted, I fell in love. Not just with Harry T. Stone, but with the entire cast and premise of the show.

While I didn’t get many comedies as a kid (or an adult) I got Night Court.

I wished I could just be part of the gang. I ran home from school every evening after theatre practice just to watch. Even if it was a rerun.

We love you Harry, and you will never ever be forgotten.

The Emmy nominated actor, best known for playing Judge Harry T. Stone on NBC’s Night Court, Harry Anderson, was found dead at a home in Asheville, NC. He was 65. While no cause of death was reported, Asheville Police PIO Christina Hallingse confirmed his death and said they do not suspect foul play.

“Anderson appeared in three Season 1 episodes of NBC’s Cheers as local flim-flam man/magician Harry “The Hat” Gitties, including a memorable sting episode in which he starred. That role — which he would reprise a few times later on the then-rising sitcom — led to his landing the lead in Night Court. The sitcom also starring John Larroquette, Markie Post and Richard Moll followed the wacky goings-on in a Manhattan night court and its staffers led by Stone, a boyish, grinning, jeans-and-sneakers jurist who was unconventional to say the least.

It debuted in January 1984 as a midseason replacement and the lead-out of Cheers. The show went on to be part of its primetime lineup for the next nine seasons.

Anderson, also an accomplished magician, would earn three consecutive Emmy nominations for the role from 1985-87, and he stayed with the series through its 193-episode run. Night Court was a top 10 show in all of primetime for its third and fourth seasons as it and Cheers gained in popularity. It would follow the Boston-set barroom classic until moving to Wednesdays in March 1987, then bounced around the NBC schedule before wrapping in 1993.”1

Anderson also made multiple appearances on Saturday Night Live in the early and mid-’80s and even got to host in February 1985. He guest starred on a number of series in the 80s and ’90s, with his most recent credits including episodes of the comedies 30 Rock and Son of the Beach.

Sources and References

  1. Deadline, April 16, 2018.