Comic Shelley Berman dies at 92

Posted September 03, 2017

Stand-up comedian and actor Shelley Berman, who was still performing in his late eighties, died on Friday at his home in Bell Canyon, California at the age of 92. They remained married until Berman's death.

In a post on Berman's Facebook fan page, a friend of the comedian revealed that the actor "slipped away peacefully, in his sleep, with no pain, as far as his hospice care workers could tell".

Before heading out on stage with the Chicago improv troupe the Compass Players, Berman wrote skits for Steve Allen's Tonight Show.

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This ultimately resulted in Bearman making history after his first comedy album, "Inside Shelley Bearman", became the first non-musical recording to win a Grammy Award. He hit gold two more times with "Outside Shelley Berman" and "The Edge of Shelley Berman". Berman made numerous appearances on TV shows including The Twilight Zone, Bewitched, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and, more recently, Curb Your Enthusiasm as Larry David's father. He got an Emmy nomination for "The Rat Dog" in season six. He'd also acted in shows like L.A. Law and Boston Legal.

According to The AP, he often joked, "I'm not a standup comedian".

In addition to The Best Man, Berman appeared in such films as Divorce American Style (1967) opposite Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds; Every Home Should Have One (1970) with Marty Feldman; Teen Witch (1989); The Last Producer (2000); Meet the Fockers (2004); The Aristocrats (2005); The Holiday (2006); and, as Adam Sandler's father, in You Don't Mess With the Zohan (2008).

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Thanks for all the laughs, Shelley Berman.

His career came to a halt in 2014, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, an illness that he and his family felt important to create awareness about.

During the interim years before his role on Curb Your Enthusiasm, he returned to straight acting and taught a course in humor writing at the University of Southern California until 2013.

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"I was always one of those life-of-the-party boys", he admitted, "though I never stooped to wearing women's hats or lampshades". He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Sarah, their daughter Rachel, and two grandkids.