Comedian and actor Shelley Berman dead at 92


According to a spokesperson for his family, Berman's death was the result of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Berman's "Inside Shelley Berman", released in early 1959, became the first comedy album to be awarded a gold record, and the first non-musical recording to win a Grammy Award, Deadline says.

Comedian Shelley Berman, who received an Emmy nomination in 2008 for his role as Larry David's father on "Curb Your Enthusiasm", has died at age 92. He auditioned for the role minutes after Shecky Greene, another top-notch 1960s comic, tried out for the part. He last appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009. He trained as an actor, with the Goodman School of Drama in his native Chicago and with the prestigious actress-teacher Uta Hagen in NY. While there, he met a fellow actor Sarah Herman, and the two were Wednesday in 1947. They were married in 1947.

He later joined the Compass Players, an influential improv troupe, along with Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

The comedian built his career as a "sit down" stand-up comic, eschewing the easy punchlines of earlier comedy for wry, nuanced, and observational storytelling. Mort Sahl suggested Berman record his first record at San Francisco's the hungry i. He would go on to appear twelve more times over four seasons. Berman recorded six more albums for Verve Records.

Berman made his first appearance on the program in season three after Larry became angry that his mother died and he wasn't told until days later. He filmed the documentary Comedian Backstage for NBC in 1963.

"I was always one of those life-of-the-party boys", he admitted, "though I never stooped to wearing women's hats or lampshades".

"TV credits included Peter Gunn, The Twilight Zone, Rawhide, Bewitched, The Man From UNCLE", The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Adam-12, MacGyver, LA Law, Friends, The Bernie Mac Show, Grey's Anatomy, Entourage, and Hawaii Five-0 for his final credit in 2012.

Among those paying tribute were Steve Martin, who tweeted: 'Thank you, Shelley Berman. He also taught taught humor writing at USC, and published a book of poetry. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Sarah, their daughter Rachel, and two grandkids.

His son Joshua, months shy of his 13th birthday, died in the mid-1970s from brain cancer.