Comedian Shelley Berman dies aged 92

Comedian whose long career stretched from stand-up in the 1950s to Curb Your Enthusiasm in the 21st Century passes away peacefully at his California home


Shelley Berman, one of the United States’ most popular comedians in the mid 20th century and best known for his stand-up routines and cameo appearances in Curb Your Enthusiasm, has died at the age of 92.

A statement on a fan site dedicated to Mr Berman on Facebook, said he had died in the early hours of this morning at his home in California due to complications with Alzheimer’s.

“He slipped away peacefully, in his sleep, with no pain, as far as his hospice care workers could tell,” the statement said.

Mr Berman was born into a Jewish family in Chicago in 1925, and moved to New York City with his wife Sarah after the war.

After working in a number of jobs he became a dance instructor and then script writer, which launched his comedy career.

He first rose to prominence in the 1950s as part of Chicago’s Compass Players comedy group, and he later starred in a series of Broadway hits including A Family Affair, Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles and Guys & Dolls.

Mr Berman’s most notable big screen appearances came alongside Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller in Meet the Fockers, and alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

But it was his role as Larry David’s father, Nat, in Curb, which took him to a new audience in the 21st century and saw him nominated for an Emmy.

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