We lost another iconic character of the ’80s. Harry Anderson, who was mainly known for playing Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, died in his home in Asheville, North Carolina yesterday.
Anderson, a fellow native Rhode Islander, got a huge break, with his recurring guest role, the hilarious con man Harry “The Hat” Gittes, on Cheers. That role led to him playing Judge Harry Stone on Night Court, from 1984-1992. Harry was just as zany and eccentric as the crazies who passed through his courtroom. And just like his character, Anderson was a magician at heart. And thanks to both Anderson, and his Night Court character, we all discovered the jazz great Mel Tormé. Anderson was nominated for three consecutive Emmys, from 1985 to 1987. In 1990, Harry played the adult Richie Tozier in the 1990 miniseries It, based on the Stephen King novel.
After Night Court’s run ended, Anderson went right back at it, playing Dave Barry on “Dave’s World,” which ran from 1993 to 1997. After that, he was not very active in the acting world anymore.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Morgan, and he had two children from a previous marriage.
If, for some reason, you have never seen Night Court, I cannot recommend it enough. I have seen some episodes recently, and it is just as funny now, as it was back then.