Garry Shandling died Thursday of cardiac arrest at age 66. Sources tell the NY Daily News that Shandling was experiencing shortness of breath in the days leading up to his death.
According to the Daily News, Shandling called 911 and told the dispatcher he was experiencing shortness of breath. He lost consciousness during the 911 call.
Paramedics arrived at Shandling's Los Angeles home a short while later at 10:30 a.m. They kicked down the door when no one answered.
Shandling was transported to St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, where he was pronounced dead.
Friends say Shandling also experienced shortness of breath in the days leading up to his death. He reportedly confided his symptoms to a doctor friend who made a house call to examine the comedian.
The doctor made Shandling promise to go to the emergency room the next day if his symptoms worsened. Shandling did not report any chest pain, according to the source.
The next day, when Shandling's shortness of breath worsened, he managed to call 911 before collapsing.
“It’s a shock,” a source told the NY Daily News. “He seemed pretty healthy, took care of himself. There were no known heart issues at all in his history.”
Shandling is best known as the creator and star of the '90s TV classic The Larry Sanders Show. The Chicago native broke into television by selling scripts to TV sitcoms. He wrote 4 episodes for the TV sitcom Sanford and Son Show (1975-1976) and 1 episode for Welcome Back Kotter (1976).
Coveted gigs guest-hosting "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" led to his own shows on Showtime and later on HBO.
Shandling lived alone in Los Angeles. He never married and had no children.
Symptoms of a heart attack include shortness of breath, chest pain, tightening or burning sensation in the chest, radiating pain or discomfort in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, and back.
Heart attacks occur when the arteries delivering oxygenated blood to the heart muscle becomes blocked and the muscle dies.