COMEDIAN Gallagher, known for smashing watermelons with a hammer in his parody, has died aged 76 of organ failure.
Gallagher, born Leo Anthony Gallagher Jr., died Friday morning while he was staying at a hospice in Palm Springs, California, his manager told TMZ.
The comedian died of massive organ failure and had been ill for some time, suffering numerous heart attacks over the years, the outlet reported.
“Gallagher stayed on the road and toured America for decades. He was pretty sure he held a record for most stand-up dates through attrition alone,” the rep told TMZ.
“While Gallagher had his critics, he was an undeniable talent and an American success story.”
Gallagher got his start in the comedy world in the 1960s as the road manager to comedian Jim Stafford.
He eventually decided to perform himself and got his big break after appearing on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1975.
Gallagher rose to popularity in the 1980s and became one of America’s most celebrated comedians due to his trademark Sledge-O Matic.
The act involved Gallagher destroying food and objects with a large mallet, always ending by smashing a watermelon.
Sledge-O Matic also included a large trampoline that looks like a couch.
Over the course of his career, he has done 14 comedy specials for Showtime, which have been re-aired several times, most notably on Comedy Central.
His first television special was in 1980, entitled An Uncensored Evening.
Gallagher had a health scare during a performance in Rochester, Minnesota in 2011 when he collapsed onstage clutching his chest.
In 2012, just before his performance in Lewisville, Texas, he suffered another heart attack.
He last performed on stage at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City in 2014.
Gallagher is survived by his daughter Aimee and son Barnaby.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/6637975/comedian-gallagher-dead-hospice-care/ Gallagher dead at 76: The comedian famous for smashing watermelons has died of organ failure after years of poor health