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Joe Flaherty, 'Freaks and Geeks' Actor, Dead at 82

Joe Flaherty, who starred as patriarch Harold Weir on the cult classic, single-season series Freaks and Geeks, has died. He was 82 years old.

The actor, writer and comedian passed away on Monday, April 1, after "a brief illness," as confirmed by his daughter, Gudrun, in a statement to Variety via the Comedic Artists Alliance, a nonprofit organization serving stand-ups, sketch comedy writers & performers, and other comedy creators, which previously fundraiser on Flaherty's behalf to help secure 24-hour care for him.

Gudrun told the publication that she's still "struggling to come to terms with this immense loss,” calling her father "an extraordinary man, known for his boundless heart and an unwavering passion for movies from the ’40s and ’50s."

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She continued, "His insights into the golden age of cinema didn’t just shape his professional life; they were also a source of endless fascination for me. In these last few months, as he faced his health challenges, we had the precious opportunity to watch many of those classic movies together — moments I will forever hold dear.”

But more than anything else, she said he was "a loving father," with "a laugh or wisdom when [she] needed it most."

Joe fell ill with an unspecified diagnosis sometime before his death, electing to spend the rest of his life at home rather than in a care facility. His colleagues from the Canadian sketch show Second City Television led the charge in securing the funding for him to do so earlier this year, with Martin Short telling fans that Joe was "aware of the gravity of his failing health..."

The show, which ran from 1976 to 1984, also starred Catherine O’HaraEugene Levy, and others. Joe, throughout his tenure, showed off his impressions of Kirk Douglas, Richard Nixon, Art Garfunkel, Gregory Peck, and Alan Alda, in addition to a variety of original characters.

He was also seen in hit films like Back to the Future II and Happy Gilmore and appeared in series like Family Guy and The King of Queens.

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