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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
US comic Rodney Dangerfield dies
Rodney Dangerfield
Dangerfield went on to appear in a number of films
Legendary US comedian Rodney Dangerfield has died at the age of 82, after spending several weeks in coma.

The performer died in Los Angeles on Tuesday after undergoing a heart valve replacement operation in August.

His publicist, Kevin Sasaki, said the comedian died at 2020 GMT (2120 BST) at the UCLA hospital.

Dangerfield, who famed for his self- deprecating one-liners and signature phrase "I can't get no respect", is survived by a wife and two children.

He was a hero who lived up to the hype
Adam Sandler, comedian

Sasaki said Dangerfield suffered a stroke following his surgery and "developed infectious and abdominal complications from which he did not recover".

During the past week, the entertainer had emerged from the coma he had slipped into sometime after the operation, according to his wife, Joan.

"When Rodney emerged, he kissed me, squeezed my hand, and smiled for the doctors," she said in a statement.

Flowers were placed on Dangerfield's star on Hollywood Boulevard after word of his death and tributes were paid by fellow performers.

Teller, half of the magic duo Penn & Teller, said Dangerfield was "intrinsically funny".

He added: "He was so confident. He was Rodney and he could do anything."

Tributes were left on Dangerfield's star on Hollywood Boulevard
Tributes were left on Dangerfield's star on Hollywood Boulevard

Comedian and actor Adam Sandler, who starred with Dangerfield in the 2000 film Little Nicky, said: "When you saw him on TV or in the movies it was doubled when you had the pleasure to meet him. He was a hero who lived up to the hype."

Dangerfield was born Jacob Cohen on 22 November 1921, on Long Island, New York, and grew up in Queens.

He turned to stand-up comedy at the age of 19, but gave up when he married his first wife Joyce Indig, with whom he had two children.

Dangerfield returned to comedy at the age of 42 and began to attract attention, appearing on the Ed Sullivan show seven times and was a regular on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson .

After his first major film role in Caddyshack he began starring in his more movies.

Later film roles included the coach of a girls' soccer team in Ladybugs, an abusive father in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers in 1994 and Little Nicky in 2000.

Dangerfield married his second wife, Joan Child, in 1993.

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