Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow share memories of Joe Flaherty

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Following the death of Freaks and Geeks and Happy Gilmore actor Joe Flaherty, Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow have both paid tribute to their late collaborator.

On April 2nd, Flaherty’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Gudrun, who revealed her father, aged 82, had passed away after a “brief illness”. Now, a series of stars, who Flaherty collided with over the course of his glittering career, have remembered their time alongside him on set and saluted his comedic talent.

Decades before landing the role of Harold Weir on Freaks and Geeks, father to Linda Cardellini and John Francis Daley’s characters, Flaherty rose to prominence in Canada as part of the sketch comedy programme SCTV.

On the programme, he worked alongside Only Murders in the Building star Martin Short, who shared a fundraiser earlier this year to help fund Flaherty’s medical bills. Following his death, Short told Rolling Stone: “In over 50 years of our friendship, there were very few people as wise or hilarious when it came to comedy, teaching improvisation and the art of character work as Joe.”

He continued: “In SCTV we called him the anchor.  In life, he was simply the funniest man in the room.  I just adored him.”

In America, Flaherty is best-known for his role on Freaks and Geeks, which catapulted the careers of Jason Segel and Seth Rogen. It also delivered Apatow with his big break, who executively produced the cult classic.

Taking to Instagram, Apatow wrote: “We were always so excited. We couldn’t believe he was a part of Freaks and Geeks. We loved him so much and told him all the time. He made everything he was in so much better.”

Meanwhile, Sandler, who recruited Flaherty for Happy Gilmore took to the same social media platform to share photos of the pair. He also noted: “Oh man. Worshipped Joe growing up. Always had me and my brother laughing. Count Floyd, Guy Caballero. Any move he made. He crushed as border guard in Stripes. Couldn’t be more fun to have him heckle me on the golf course.”

Sandler added: “The nicest guy you could know. Genius of a comedian. And a true sweetheart. Perfect combo. Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all.”

Additionally, his daughter, Gudrun, revealed to the New York Times that she’s been “struggling to come to terms with this immense loss” since his passing on April 1st. At this stage, the family have decided to not reveal specific details of the illness that caused his death.

See Sandler and Apatow’s tributes below.

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