Adored ‘Parks & Recreation’ producer and writer Harris Wittels was found dead in his home on Feb. 19, and star Amy paid tribute to her ‘dear, young friend’ in a heartfelt speech just hours after hearing the tragic news.
Even though Amy Poehler, 43, was the one being honored at Variety’s charity event unite4humanity on Feb. 19, the Parks & Recreation star took a moment to honor Harris Wittels, 30, one of the show’s co-executive producers and writers who reportedly died of a drug overdose on Feb. 19. His sudden death comes just a few days before the highly-anticipated Parks & Recreation series finale.
Harris Wittels Dead: Amy Poehler’s Sweet Tribute To ‘Parks & Rec’ Producer
Here’s Amy’s sweet tribute to Harris at the Variety event.
Today, I lost a friend. I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction. I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that fine line every day. When things happen in our lives, we turn to the people that we love…and we lean on people, in a hope that we will ease our pain. So, I don’t really feel like telling any jokes. I’m kind of sad, and it’s really great to be here tonight and listen to all of you, and listen to the great work that you do and be reminded why we live in this bizarre planet called ‘Hollywood.’ It’s very strange.
Harris’ body had been discovered just hours earlier. The young writer was found unresponsive at his Los Angeles home around noon on Feb. 19 after police responded to a call about a possible drug overdose, Officer Jeffrey Dohlen of the Los Angeles Police Department said, USA Today reports. An official cause of death has yet to be released.
Harris guest-starred on the hit series a number of times as an inept animal control employee. In addition to Parks & Recreation, he produced and wrote for Eastbound and Down, Secret Girlfriend and The Sarah Silverman Program.
He’s been credited with coining the term “Humblebrag” and published Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty in 2012.
Parks & Recreation’s final episodes air Feb. 24.
Our thoughts are with Harris’ family and friends during this difficult time.
— Avery Thompson