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Bob Saget, comedian who starred in ‘Full House’ and ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos,’ has died

Mr. Saget had attended the red carpet premiere and party for Peacock's new comedy series "MacGruber" at California Science Center on Dec. 8, in Los Angeles.Leon Bennett/Getty

LOS ANGELES — Bob Saget, the actor-comedian known for his role as beloved single dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House” and as the wisecracking host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” has died, according to authorities in Florida. He was 65.

Deputies in Orange County, Fla., were called Sunday about an “unresponsive man” in a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando and found Mr. Saget dead, according to a sheriff’s statement on Twitter. Detectives found “no signs of foul play or drug use in this case.”

Mr. Saget was in Florida as part of his “I Don’t Do Negative Comedy Tour.” After warm audience receptions to his gigs Friday in Orlando and Saturday in the Ponte Vedra Beach resort area, he celebrated online.

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“I’m back in comedy like I was when I was 26. I guess I’m finding my new voice and loving every moment of it,” he posted Saturday on Instagram.

Fellow comedians and friends praised Mr. Saget not only for his wit, but his kindness.

“I am broken. I am gutted. I am in complete and utter shock. I will never ever have another friend like him,” wrote John Stamos, who co-starred with Mr. Saget on “Full House.” “I love you so much Bobby.”

“I have no words. Bob was one of the best humans beings I’ve ever known in my life. I loved him so much,” said Candace Cameron Bure, who played Mr. Saget’s daughter on “Full House.”

“In often a ruthless business he was historically not just hilarious but more importantly one of the kindest human beings I ever met in my career,” actor Richard Lewis wrote on Twitter.

In a statement Sunday, Mr. Saget’s family members said they are “devastated to confirm that our beloved Bob passed away today.... Though we ask for privacy at this time, we invite you to join us in remembering the love and laughter that Bob brought to the world.”

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Mr. Saget the stand-up showed his flip side with what become a much-talked-about cameo in the 2005 documentary “The Aristocrats” — in which 100 comics riffed on the world’s dirtiest joke — that revealed his notoriously filthy sense of humor.

It stayed undercover on network TV, both as the longtime host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and as the squeaky clean widower and father to three young girls on “Full House,” the ABC sitcom that also brought fame to Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley when it debuted in 1987.

The show’s popularity didn’t deter critics, some calling it cheesy and others deeming it unreal. Mr. Saget, as amiable and droll in an interview as he was on TV screens, took the brickbats in stride.

“‘Full House’ was a loving kind of show but obviously over the top. It had its heightened reality, a glossy Willy Wonka quality to it,” he told The Associated Pres in a 2001 interview.

That year, Mr. Saget took another pass at playing a widowed dad with winsome kids on the short-lived sitcom “Raising Dad.”

He said he found himself repeatedly fielding questions about his habit of playing sitcom widowers, and had a ready response: “(Kevin) Costner does three, four baseball movies and that’s OK. There’s my rationale.”

He focused occasionally on directing over the years, including on HBO’s “The Mind of the Married Man,” and the Norm Macdonald film “Dirty Work.”

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He drew praise as producer-director of the 1996 TV film “For Hope,” loosely based on the battle of his late sister, Gay, with the tissue disease scleroderma, and appealed for increased federal support for research funds.

He remembered his sister in a January 2020 post, noting that she died when she was 47 and would have been 73 that month.

Mr. Saget, born in Philadelphia, graduated from Temple University in 1978 before finding his way into comedy clubs. In contrast to his squeaky-clean image on “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Mr. Saget delighted in raunchy, profanity-laden stand-up routines.

At Temple, he studied film, and the year of his graduation, he received a student Academy Award for documentary merit for his film “Through Adam’s Eyes,” about a nephew of his who had had facial reconstructive surgery.

But even then, he was already pursuing comedy. He told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2016 that, at 17, he won a local radio contest by singing a song about bondage, and that although he spent most of his time at Temple shooting film, he would also go to the University of Pennsylvania to do improv.

After graduating, Mr. Saget moved to Los Angeles and quickly made himself a constant presence at The Comedy Store. “I lived in that room for seven years,” he said on comedian Marc Maron’s podcast in 2010.

“I did jokes and some stories, but most of them were just silly, dirty silly,” he remembered. He said he was drawn to jokes with foul language and anatomy because it was what he wasn’t supposed to say growing up. “I stayed like a kid who just talked silly.”

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He added, deadpan and possibly sincere, “I don’t curse for the sake of cursing, that’s the actual truth.”

After a brief stint on a CBS show, “The Morning Program,” Mr. Saget appeared in a 1987 Richard Pryor film, “Critical Condition.” He then got offered the part on “Full House.” He later joked with Maron, “My joke is, ‘Ask me my favorite episode?’”

“What’s your favorite episode,” Maron played along.

“The last one,” Mr. Saget said. Almost immediately, he added, “I’m the luckiest guy.”

Mr. Saget had daughters Aubrey, Lara and Jennifer with first wife, Sherri Kramer, before divorcing in 1997. He married Kelly Rizzo in 2018.

Material from The New York Times was used in this obituary.