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Beloved Actor And Comedian Joe Flaherty Passes Away At 82

Joe Flaherty, the American actor and comedian renowned for his roles on Freaks and Geeks and the sketch comedy series SCTV, has passed away at the age of 82.

Flaherty’s demise was disclosed by his daughter, Gudrun, who mentioned it followed a “brief illness.”

Born in Pittsburgh, Flaherty initiated his comedy journey as a part of Chicago’s improv group, The Second City.

Throughout his nearly five-decade-long career, he contributed to many beloved television comedies, such as Frasier and Family Guy.

In a statement, Gudrun noted that her father had an “unwavering passion for movies from the 40s and 50s,” which significantly impacted his career. She added that he held a special affection for his time on SCTV. “He cherished every moment spent on the show, so proud of its success and so proud to be part of an amazing cast,” she said.

Comedian Martin Short, Flaherty’s former SCTV castmate, expressed, “There were very few people as wise or hilarious when it came to comedy, teaching improvisation and the art of character work as Joe. In SCTV we called him the anchor. In life, he was simply the funniest man in the room. I just adored him.”

Following eight years on SCTV, Flaherty portrayed Harold Weir, the father of two awkward teenagers, on the teen comedy-drama Freaks and Greeks. Despite the series’ cancellation after a single season, it later attained cult-classic status and propelled the careers of several young actors.

Flaherty was also remembered for his memorable role in the 1996 film Happy Gilmore, where he portrayed a heckler who taunts the titular golf player, played by Adam Sandler.

The actor was revered not only in his homeland but also in Canada, where he later moved to establish Toronto’s branch of the improv troupe, The Second City.

Co-stars reminisced about Flaherty as a kind and talented comedian.

In an Instagram post, Adam Sandler expressed his admiration, stating he “worshipped Joe growing up.” “Couldn’t be more fun to have him heckle me on the golf course. The nicest guy you could know. Genius of a comedian. And a true sweetheart. Perfect combo,” Sandler wrote. “Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all.”

“I was so thrilled to be able to work with him,” wrote Jennifer Tilly, who starred alongside Flaherty in the 1997 film The Wrong Guy. “His performance was pitch perfect. A great comedian. Gone too soon.”

Flaherty was married to Judith Dagley for 22 years until their divorce in 1996. He is survived by two children, Gudrun and Gabriel Flaherty.

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