Comedic Actor Joe Flaherty Dead at 82, Best Known for 'Happy Gilmore' and 'Freaks and Geeks'

Flaherty died at home on Monday due to an unnamed illness, according to his daughter.

Comedian and actor Joe Flaherty passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Flaherty was known for TV roles like Harold Weir on Freaks and Geeks and performing in the ensemble of Second City TV. He was also seen as an aggressive fan who repeatedly harassed Adam Sandler's character in Happy Gilmore. After a brief battle with an unnamed illness, he died at home according to statement by his daughter Gundrun.

"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 in a statement published by Variety. "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."

Flaherty had the love of his colleagues as well, which put his illness in the headlines back in February. At the time, Martin Short asked fans to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign for Flaherty's care. He issued a statement through the Comedic Arts Alliance, saying: "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," Short went on. "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!"

Flaherty was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 21, 1941 and worked in theater and on radio early in his career. He considered SCTV to be his big break. The variety show was an attempt to translate the Second City improv culture to TV, and it was on the air from 1976 to 1984. In addition to Short, Flaherty worked with Catherine O'Hara, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin, and Eugene Levy on the show.

Flaherty was reportedly able to remain at home through his illness thanks to the support of friends, family, and fans, and thanks to Gundrun who became his full-time caregiver. Fans and colleagues are sharing their fondest memories of the comedian on social media in the wake of his passing.