Mitzi Shore, owner of the Los Angeles club the Comedy Store and one of the most influential figures in stand-up for more than four decades, has died. Spokeswoman Jodi Gottlieb released a statement from the club announcing Shore's death on Wednesday. She was 87. No cause was given, but her son, actor and comedian Pauly Shore, tweeted that she had been in hospice, the AP reports. Multiple outlets report that she had been battling Parkinson's disease.
The Comedy Store was two years old when Mitzi Shore took over ownership after divorcing the club's co-founder, comedian Sammy Shore, in 1974. She arrived at a moment when a huge stand-up boom was erupting. Virtually every major comic from Richard Pryor to Robin Williams to Jerry Seinfeld used the club as a stepping-stone and returned to hone their acts after gaining fame. "Mitzi was an extraordinary woman and leader who identified, cultivated and celebrated comedy’s best performers," the Comedy Store tweeted, adding, "She helped change the face of comedy and leaves behind an indelible mark and legacy in the entertainment industry and stand-up community. We will all miss her dearly. The Comedy Store will be closed today." (Read more obituary stories.)