Joe Flaherty dead at 82: Freaks & Geeks and Happy Gilmore star passes away one month after he was revealed to be in 'failing health' SuperNayr

Actor and comedian Joe Flaherty has died aged 82.

Flaherty – who was known for starring on Freaks & Geeks and Happy Gilmore – passed away on Monday, April 1.

His death comes little over a month after improv comedy group Second City, organized a fundraiser to support him while he was ill, which was shared by Martin Short.

The fundraiser description read: ‘Our beloved SCTV cast member, Joe Flaherty, is very ill. 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.

‘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 was a mentor, a director, and an inspiring improviser who gave us many of the tools we are still using in the careers he helped kickstart. 

Actor and comedian Joe Flaherty has died aged 8 (pictured 1979)

Actor and comedian Joe Flaherty has died aged 8 (pictured 1979)

Flaherty - who was known for starring on Freaks & Geeks and Happy Gilmore - passed away on Monday, April

Flaherty – who was known for starring on Freaks & Geeks and Happy Gilmore – passed away on Monday, April 

‘And he made us all laugh! We believe that you would want to know about Joe’s condition and, perhaps, even want to contribute towards his home care.’

From 1976 to 1996, he was married to Judith Flaherty and together they had two children, daughter Gudrun and son Gabriel. 

Jennifer Tilly wrote: ‘Joe Flaherty played my dad in ‘The Wrong Guy.’ I was so thrilled to be able to work with him. His performance was pitch perfect. A great comedian. Gone too soon.’

Mad Men star Joel Murray, who acted alongside him in 1986’s One Crazy Summer. ‘We’ve lost another of my idols. RIP Joe Flaherty.’

Flaherty – born Joseph O’Flaherty – was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. the eldest of seven children.

He served in  the United States Air Force for four years before turning his attention to theatre.

The star moved to Chicago to start his comedy career with the Second City Theater as Joe O’Flaherty before dropping the O due to another actor with the same name.

He began appearing on the National Lampoon Radio Hour from 1973 to 1974 before moving to Toronto to start the Toronto Second City theatre troupe.

He was one of the original writers and performers on SCTV, playing iconic roles including Big Jim McBob and station owner/manager Guy Caballero.

His film appearances include  Back to the Future Part II (1989) where he played the Western Union postal worker who delivers Doc Brown’s 70-year-old letter to Marty McFly as well as a crazy fan in Happy Gilmore (1996).

During 1997–1998, Flaherty starred in the television adaptation of Police Academy. 

In 1999, Flaherty joined Freaks and Geeks, in which played dad Harold Weir parenting two teens during the 1980–1981 academic year.

He also appeared in Family Guy, Married… With Children and The King of Queens

 

 

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