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Garry Shandling, who as an actor and comedian pioneered a pretend brand of self-focused docudrama with "The Larry Sanders Show," has died.

Las Angeles Police officer Tony Im said Shandling died Thursday in Los Angeles of an undisclosed cause. He was 66.

The Chicago-born Shandling moved from a short stint in the advertising business to comedy writing and standup.

Then in the 1980s he began to experiment with TV comedy with his first series, "It's Garry Shandling'sShow," a Showtime sitcom that called attention to its artificial nature with the actors routinely breaking the fourth wall.

In 1992, he created his comic masterpiece with "The Larry Sanders Show," which starred him as an egomaniacal late-night TV host with an anxiety-ridden show-biz life behind the scenes.

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