'Such a brilliant comedian': Fans pay heartfelt tribute to 'Freaks and Greeks' actor Joe Flaherty who died at 82

'Such a brilliant comedian': Fans pay heartfelt tribute to 'Freaks and Greeks' actor Joe Flaherty who died at 82
Joe Flaherty, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 21, 1942, got his break as a writer and performer on SCTV (IMDB)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Joe Flaherty, who was known for his roles on 'Second City Television' and 'Freaks and Greeks' tragically died at the age of 82. On Monday, April 1, the actor breathed his last after fighting an unknown illness over the past few months, his daughter Gundrun confirmed in a statement shared with Variety through the Comedic Artists Alliance.

“After a brief illness, he left us yesterday, and since then, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with this immense loss,” she wrote, adding "Dad was an extraordinary man, known for his boundless heart and an unwavering passion for movies from the ’40s and ’50s. His insights into the golden age of cinema didn’t just shape his professional life; they were also a source of endless fascination for me."

"In these last few months, as he faced his health challenges, we had the precious opportunity to watch many of those classic movies together — moments I will forever hold dear," she concluded.



 

Inside Joe Flaherty's acting career 

Flaherty, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on June 21, 1942, got his break as a writer and performer on SCTV after various performances in theater and radio. The Canadian variety show, which ran from 1976 to 1984, was an offshoot of Toronto’s famed Second City comedy troupe.



 

After his stint on the late night sketch show, the late actor went on to have longer runs on other television series like 'Maniac Mansion', 'Even Stevens', 'That '70s Show' and Judd Apatow and Paul Feig's beloved show 'Freaks and Geeks.' His last appearance on a television series was in 2012 on 'Call Me Fitz.'

He also landed small but memorable roles in major movies like 'Happy Gilmore', 'Back to the Future Part II' and 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.'



 

Joe Flaherty chose to spend the rest of his life at home 

When his daughter learned of her father's sickness, she became his sole caregiver after he decided to spend the rest of his life at his home rather than a care facility. When the news of his diagnosis went public, Short released an online statement to the Comedic Artists Alliance in an effort to help raise funds for his care.



 

“Our beloved SCTV cast member, Joe Flaherty, is very ill," the 'Only Murders in the Building' star wrote in February. "Joe is aware of the gravity of his failing health and would like to spend whatever time he has left at home rather than in a facility," he added.

“We are writing to our friends because we believe ‘SCTV’ meant something to you, and that would not be the case if it were not for Joe Flaherty," he continued, adding "He was a mentor, a director, and an inspiring improvisor who gave us many of the tools we are still using in the careers he helped us kickstart. And he made us all laugh!”



 

Fans pay tribute to Joe Flaherty after his death 

After Flaherty's death, fans took to social media platforms to pay tribute. One fan tweeted, "Such a brilliant comedian. May Joe­ rest in peace. #HappyGilmore­ #JoeFlahertyLegacy". Another said, "RIP. Hopefully he got Red Lobster when he got to the pearly gates." 



 



 

"So many small roles in his career that made movies so memorable. His delivery was always spot on. Definitely a very funny man," one remembered and another tweeted, "He was great in Freaks and Geeks." "His delivery and demeanor were the best," wrote one of his admirers. 



 



 



 

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