Joe Flaherty dies at 82: A look at SCTV star’s iconic film and television roles

American actor and comedian Joe Flaherty died on Tuesday, April 2, after a brief battle with an undisclosed illness. He was 82 at the time. The news of Flahtery’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Gudrun. In February, Toronto’s Second City comedy troupe had organised a fundraiser for the late actor’s “failing health.” The fundraiser mentioned at the time that Flaherty was aware of the “gravity” of the situation and “would like to spend whatever time he has left at home rather than at a facility.”

Freaks and Geeks, Happy Gilmore star Joe Flaherty dies at 82 after 'brief illness'
Freaks and Geeks, Happy Gilmore star Joe Flaherty dies at 82 after ‘brief illness’

What was Joe Flaherty famous for? A look at his iconic roles

Flaherty shot to fame as a cast member and writer on the Canadian sketch comedy show SCTV from 1976 to 1984. He was also widely regarded for his role as Harold Weir in the cult classic American TV show, Freaks and Geeks. He appeared on the teen comedy-drama show from 1999 to 2000 as a parent of the Weir kids. Throughout his decades-long career, Flaherty played several iconic roles in various films and television series.

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Prior to his stint on Freaks and Geeks, Flaherty also starred in ‘90s sitcom Maniac Mansion as Dr. Fred Edison for 65 episodes and as a regular on the Police Academy: The Series. He was also famous for his work as a voice actor in several animated shows, including, Little Dracula, Dinosaurs, Family Guy, and The Legend of Tarzan. His later television works include Frasier, and That ’70s Show, The King of Queens.

Flaherty paved his way into the film industry with the 1976 satirical film Tunnel Vision. By the late ’90s, he appeared in various films, including Happy Gilmore, in which he starred alongside Adam Sandler, who paid a heartfelt tribute to his late co-star on Instagram.

“Oh man. Worshipped Joe growing up. Always had me and my brother laughing. Count Floyd, Guy Caballero. Any move he made. He crushed as border guard in Stripes. 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. Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all,” Sandler wrote.

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