Prop comedian Gallagher, who famously smashed watermelons on stage, has died at age 76.
The funnyman died as a result of organ failure, his agent Roger Paul told the Daily News.
The comic born Leo Gallagher Jr. “succumbed to his ailments and passed away surrounded by his family in Palm Springs, California,” manager Craig Marquardo told The News in a statement. “He had previously suffered numerous heart attacks, something he and David Letterman talked about on an appearance a few years back.”
Marquardo praised Gallagher’s “edgy style, brilliant wordplay, and inventive props.”
The work of the “An Uncensored Evening” comic, who shot to fame with that 1980 TV special, was a common fixture on Showtime and attracted younger audiences on MTV, according to Marquardo.
“While his counterparts went on to do sitcoms, host talk shows and star in movies, Gallagher stayed on the road touring America for decades,” Marquardo wrote. “In his later years he did a long-running Geico commercial, appeared in his first movie (’The Book of Daniel’), and launched a farewell tour. While Gallagher had his detractors, he was an undeniable talent and an American success story.”
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