Shandling began his career writing for sitcoms, such as Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter.
He made a successful stand-up performance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and became a frequent guest-host on the series.
“Garry was a guiding voice of comedy,” Odenkirk said in a statement.
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In 1978, Shandling performed his first stand-up routine at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles.
A year later, Shandling was one of the few performers to cross the picket line when a group of comedians organized a boycott against the Comedy Store, protesting owner Mitzi Shore's policy of not paying comedians to perform. He was a successful sitcom writer trying to break into stand-up, and prior to the strike, Shore had refused to put him in the regular lineup because she didn't think he was good enough.
He still made rare appearances on screen, including a cameo in Iron Man 2, directed by Favreau.
TMZ reported that Shandling made an emergency call from his home on Thursday before falling unconscious.
It pioneered the art of the cringe years before Curb Your Enthusiasm, and featured real celebrities playing skewed versions of themselves more than a decade ahead of Entourage.