Bob Saget, Actor, Comedian, and Drowsy Chaperone's Last Man in Chair on Broadway, Dies at 65

Saget was best known for starring in the sitcom ”Full House”.

Bob Saget and his Sardi's caricature
Bob Saget and his Sardi's caricature
(© David Gordon)

Actor/comedian Bob Saget, best known for his work as Danny Tanner on the sitcom Full House, has died at the age of 65.

Saget was found unresponsive on Sunday afternoon in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. There were no signs of drug use or foul play, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said, but the cause of death is not currently known.

Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of Temple University, Saget received a student Academy Award for his film Through Adam's Eyes before moving to Los Angeles to pursue work as a standup comedian. While he became known in the comedy world for his raunchy, ribald humor, he became a household name for his family friendly work as the Tanner family patriarch on Full House (and, decades later, its Netflix sequel Fuller House) and as the host of America's Funniest Home Videos, two jobs he held simultaneously for much of the 1990s. He would go on to lead the short-lived series' Raising Dad and Surviving Suburbia, in addition to narrating How I Met Your Mother as the older version of Ted Mosby. For the screen, he directed the 1998 film Dirty Work and the 2007 mockumentary Farce of the Penguins, and made a memorable appearance in the documentary The Aristocrats, delivering a supremely filthy take on that iconic joke.

He did all of this while touring the country as a standup comedian (he did his final set on January 8, the evening before his death, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida) and fundraising for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, in tribute to his sister, who died of the disease at the age of 47. The 1996 television film For Hope, which Saget produced and directed, was inspired by her story.

Saget's New York theatrical debut was in the 2005 Paul Weitz play Privilege at Second Stage Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in the fall of 2007 as the showtune obsessed Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone, becoming the final actor to play that role in the original production. In 2015, he replaced Marc Kudisch as Pastor Greg in Robert Askins's comedy Hand to God.

While Saget was the star-cast celebrity replacement in both productions, he fit right into the two very tight-knit ensembles and became beloved by both companies. In a remembrance on Twitter, Bob Martin, writer of The Drowsy Chaperone, recalled the show's final performance and "waiting in the wings as the curtain came down. Bob came off stage directly into my arms and he just started weeping…Bob was a star in TV and film, but being on Broadway meant so much to him. It wasn't just another gig. Like me, he thought of it as a dream come true." On Instagram, Danny Burstein, Saget's Aldolpho, wrote "Bob was like my big brother. He was always there for me. I just can't believe this news. I'm heartbroken."

Saget's survivors include his wife, Kelly Rizzo, and three daughters.