By Dan Snierson
March 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
HBO /Everett Collection
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The heartfelt tributes are pouring in for groundbreaking comedian Garry Shandling, who died unexpectedly on Thursday at the age of 66. Jeffrey Tambor is one person who worked closely with Shandling; for six seasons on HBO’s Emmy-winning, legendary comedy The Larry Sanders Show, he played Hank Kingsley, the buffoonish sidekick who was always seeking a deeper connection with Shandling’s self-consumed host Larry Sanders.

RELATED: Celebs pay tribute to Garry Shandling

Tambor, who currently stars in Transparent, has released a touching statement about his Sanders costar.

“I am so sad,” said Tambor. “Garry was my dear friend and was and always will be my teacher. Garry redesigned the wheel of comedy and he was the kindest and funniest of Geniuses. I will miss him so much.”

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