Actor And Comedian Known For His Roles In ‘Freaks And Geeks’ And ‘Happy Gilmore’ Passes Away


Actor Joe Flaherty may be best known for his role as Harold Weir on the TV show “Freaks and Geeks.” Other notable credits include “Happy Gilmore,” “Back to the Future Part III,” “Detroit Rock City,” and “SCTV Network.” According to IMDB he acted on more than 100 different TV shows and movies throughout this career.

Unfortunately, Flaherty died on April 1, 2024, at the age of 82 following a “brief illness.” No more specifics about his cause of death have been released publicly.

Flaherty’s daughter, Gudrun, confirmed the sad news of her father’s death to Variety via a statement. She explained, “After a brief illness, he left us yesterday, and since then, I’ve been struggling to come to terms with this immense loss.” 

She shared some of the things she remembers most fondly about her father. “Dad was an extraordinary man, known for his boundless heart and an unwavering passion for movies from the ’40s and ’50s. 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.”

She continued the statement by sharing how they spent their time together during his final months. She explained, “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.”

“SCTV,” which stands for Second City Television, was a sketch comedy show that Flaherty worked on as both an actor and writer. He performed alongside fellow actors and comedians such as John Candy and Martin Short. His celebrity impressions were a big hit on the show. He would do impressions for celebrities such as Alan Alda, Art Garfunkel and Richard Nixon. He also created original characters that he would portray including Big Jim McBob and Count Floyd. 

In Gudrun’s statement, she shared how much her father “cherished” working on “SCTV.” She explained, “He cherished every moment spent on the show, so proud of its success and so proud to be part of an amazing cast. Recently, the ‘SCTV’ cast reminisced, saying, ‘All of us “SCTV” castmates owe him a huge debt of gratitude; he was the creative anchor that kept us honest and inspired.’ It’s a testament to his indelible mark on everyone he worked with.”

Gudrun also remembers her father as a family man. She shared, “Above all, he was a loving father. No matter the occasion, he was always there to offer a laugh or wisdom when I needed it most. His absence has left a void in my life that feels insurmountable at the moment. As I try to navigate through this grieving process, I take solace in the memories we shared and the incredible impact he had on those around him. His spirit, humor and love will be a part of me forever.”