Harry Anderson, the magician and former street hustler who starred as wacky judge Harry Stone on NBC sitcom Night Court, has been found dead in his home in Asheville, NC. He was 65. Police say officers were called to the home early Monday and no foul play is suspected, WSPA reports. Anderson, who grew up moving around the country with a mother he described as a "hustler" who "did a lot of things," began performing in southern California magic clubs while still in high school, NBC reports. A recurring guest role as grifter "Harry the Hat" on Cheers led to the role on Night Court, which ran for nine seasons. He was nominated for Emmys in three consecutive years, from 1985 to 1987.
"I am devastated. I'll talk about you later, Harry, but for now, I'm devastated," tweeted Night Court co-star Markie Post. After the NBC sitcom ended in 1992, Anderson starred in CBS comedy Dave's World for four seasons. With his wife, Elizabeth, he opened a nightclub and magic store in New Orleans in 2000, but they moved to North Carolina in 2006 after the businesses struggled in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Anderson, who cited mid-20th century magician Harry Blackstone as his inspiration, saw himself as a magician and illusionist, not an actor, the New York Times reports. "I was never really an actor," he once said. "I was a magician who fell into a part on Cheers." (Read more obituary stories.)