The comedian suffered a heart attack at home and called 911 himself before being taken to a hospital in Santa Monica, Los Angeles where he died Thursday.
The Larry Sanders Show star was born in Chicago and raised in Arizona. In his early 20s, Shandling moved to Los Angeles and worked in advertising before selling a script he'd written for Sanford and Son.
He went on to write more for the NBC sitcom as well as an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter. In 1986, his sitcom It's Garry Shandling's Show premiered on Showtime. The series – which ran for four seasons on Showtime and re-aired on Fox – was one of the first sitcoms to break the fourth wall and have characters speak directly to camera.
The show was nominated for four Emmy awards, including one for Shandling.
In 1992, Shandling launched his second series, The Larry Sanders Show, on HBO. Taking place behind the scenes of a talk show, Shandling based the series on his experiences guest-hosting The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Shandling also hosted the Grammy Awards from 1990 to 1995 and the Emmy Awards in 2000 and 2004. He appeared in numerous films including the 1998 remake of Dr. Dolittle, Zoolander, Iron Man 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
In January 2012, Shandling reunited with his Larry Sanders Show castmates Rip Torn, Jeffrey Tambor, Sarah Silverman, Penny Johnson Jerald, Wallace Langham and Mary Lynn Rajskub for Entertainment Weekly's Reunion Issue.
"People always talk about the cast of a series being like family – that isn't what this group is like," Shandling said in the issue. "We're somehow even closer than that. This was more like a group therapy reunion."
In January, Shandling appeared on a touching episode of his friend Jerry Seinfeld's Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The pair revisited the iconic club the Comedy Store and discussed Shandling's career as well as mutual friends they had lost, including Robin Williams.
Friend Kathy Griffin was one of the first stars to pay tribute to Shandling on Thursday, posting a picture of herself with Shandling and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk on Twitter alongside the caption: "Sunday, my longtime friend Garry Shandling was here, making every1 laugh. I loved him. I'll miss our talks the most."
Sunday, my longtime friend Garry Shandling was here, making every1 laugh. I loved him. I'll miss our talks the most. pic.twitter.com/Ud8AQXNBXN— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 24, 2016