Stand-Up Comedian Shelley Berman Dead at 92

Shelley Berman dead

Influential comedian and actor Shelley Berman, best known for bringing modern anxiety to early standup and playing Larry David's father on Curb Your Enthusiasm, died at his home in Bell Canyon, Calif., this morning, September 1. He had a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Chicago beckoned again, and he accepted a spot with the improvisational troupe the Compass Players, a forerunner of the fabled Second City. Berman got his start in the Chicago comedy scene of the 1950s, alongside comics like Mort Sahl and Bob Newhart.

His 1959 live record, Inside Shelley Berman, was the first comedy album to be certified gold (with more than 500,000 sales) and was 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". In recent years, he was best known for his role as Nat David, father of Larry David's character on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, a role which earned him an Emmy nomination in 2008. He was nominated for an Emmy award in 2008 for his performance as Larry's partially-blind, oft-crotchety father.

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

In 1962, Berman participated in NBC's documentary-style television show Comedian Backstage, where cameras followed him as he prepared for and performed his nightclub act.




His other TV roles include Judge Robert Sanders on Boston Legal, as well as appearances on CSI: NY, Pushing Daisies, Hannah Montana, Entourage, Grey's Anatomy, Friends and L.A. Law.

Berman retired from performing in 2014 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

In his book Who's Who In Comedy, author Ronald L Smith said: 'Mostly critics praise Berman as a virtuoso satirist of modern angst and anxiety - an intellectual performer'.

The comedian who poked fun at life's idiosyncrasies, Shelley Berman, has died. In 2013, his collection of poetry, To Laughter With Questions, was published.

Berman is survived by his wife, Sarah, whom he'd been married to for 70 years, as well as by his daughter, Rachel, and his two grandsons. Their son Joshua, died in the seventies of brain cancer, at the age of 12.

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