Garry Shandling’s cause of death has been revealed. A Los Angeles County coroner’s report obtained by Variety Tuesday states that the comedian died from pulmonary thrombosis — a blood clot in his heart. The fatal clot developed from blood clots in his lower extremities.
Shandling had complained about leg pain and shortness of breath on March 23, 2016. A friend recommended he go see a doctor and he said he would the following day. He called 911 on March 24, 2016 because he couldn’t breathe and collapsed while on the phone. He was transported to St. John’s Hospital emergency room where he was declared dead. Shandling was 66 years old.
The toxicology report found some therapeutic amounts of Xanax and opiates (prescribed after recent dental work) in his system, as well as some standard cold medications.
The coroner’s report listed his death as an “accident” and “natural.”
In 1986, he created his own sitcom “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” an early original series effort for Showtime. From 1992-98, he appeared on “The Larry Sanders Show,” one of the early pillars of HBO’s original series strategy. Judd Apatow was among the staff writers on the show who went on to become a major player in the industry.
Shandling’s death in March came as a great shock to the comedy and television community.