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‘Extraordinary Man’: Happy Gilmore Star Joe Flaherty Dies


Joe Flaherty, the actor, writer and comedian known for his roles on the Canadian sketch series Second City Television and Freaks and Geeks, has died. He was 82 years old.

Flaherty’s daughter Gudrun confirmed the news to Variety in a statement released through the Comedic Artists Alliance, saying he died Monday following a brief illness.

The Alliance had already raised funds to provide Flaherty with a 24-hour care provider.

“After a brief illness, he left us yesterday and since then I have struggled to come to terms with this immense loss,” Gudrun said.

“Dad was an extraordinary man, known for his boundless heart and unwavering passion for films of the ’40s and ’50s,” she continued.

“His vision of the golden age of cinema not only shaped his professional life; they were also a source of endless fascination for me. Over these past few months, as he dealt with his health issues, we had the precious opportunity to watch many of these classic films together – moments that I will cherish forever.

The Post has contacted Flaherty’s representatives for comment.

Flaherty won Emmys in 1982 and 1983 for his writing on SCTV.

In 1996, he played rowdy Donald in Merry Gilmore alongside Adam Sandler.

He then played Harold Weir, the pragmatic father of two awkward teenagers, in the television comedy Freaks and Geeks from 1999 to 2000.

Flaherty was ill before his death and chose to spend the remainder of his life at home rather than in a care facility.

Her SCTV collaborators, including Martin Short, helped raise funds for this treatment through the Comedic Artists Alliance by posting on social media.

“We write to our friends because we believe SCTV meant something to you, and it wouldn’t without Joe Flaherty,” Short wrote at the time.

“He was an inspiring mentor, director and improviser who gave us many tools that we still use in the careers he helped us start. And he made us all laugh!

This article was originally published in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission


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