Adam Sandler Pays Tribute to Late ‘Happy Gilmore’ Costar Joe Flaherty

Adam Sandler is mourning costar Joe Flaherty after his death at 82.

“Oh man. Worshipped Joe growing up. Always had me and my brother laughing,” Sandler, 57, wrote on Instagram Tuesday alongside several photos of Flaherty, who died Monday.

Flaherty, who worked with Sandler on the 1996 golf comedy Happy Gilmore, died after an unknown illness, as his daughter Gundrun told Variety in a statement shared through the Comedic Artists Alliance.

“Count Floyd, Guy Caballero. Any move he made. He crushed as border guard in Stripes,” Sandler wrote in his caption, referencing several of Flaherty’s roles over his nearly four-decades-long acting career.

“Couldn’t be more fun to have him heckle me on the golf course. The nicest guy you could know,” he added, mentioning Flaherty’s appearance in Happy Gilmore. “Genius of a comedian. And a true sweetheart. Perfect combo. Much love to his kids and thanks to Joe for all the greatness he gave us all.”

Flaherty, who was best known for roles in 1999’s Detroit Rock City, Second City Television and the television series Freaks and Greeks, appears in Happy Gilmore as a fan hired by antagonist Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald) to heckle and torment Happy (Sandler) during golf matches.

The character — Flaherty is credited on IMDb only as Jeering Fan for the film — even hits Happy with a car during the movie’s final golf tournament, though the character overcomes his injury and ultimately wins over McGavin.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer​​, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

Flaherty’s career also included roles in movies like Back to the Future Part II and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy as well as roles on television series like Maniac Mansion, Even Stevens and That ’70s Show.

Adam Sandler and Joe Flaherty (background, wearing white hat) in 1996’s Happy Gilmore.

AJ Pics / Alamy

“Dad was an extraordinary man, known for his boundless heart and an unwavering passion for movies from the ’40s and ’50s,” Flaherty’s daughter Gundrun said of her father in a statement. “His insights into the golden age of cinema didn’t just shape his professional life; they were also a source of endless fascination for me.”

Sandler recently wrote a tribute to another Happy Gilmore actor on Instagram after Carl Weathers, who played Chubbs in the popular ’90s comedy, died at 76 in February.

“What a guy!! Everyone loved him,” he wrote at that time. “My wife and I had the best times with him every time we saw him.”

Nick Viall, Natalie Joy haven’t ‘cracked the code’ of postpartum sex

Nick Viall and Natalie Joy are getting the hang of their postpartum sex life two months after welcoming daughter River ...

Dickey Betts of Allman Brothers Dead at 80

Dickey Betts, singer-songwriter and guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, has died at the age of 80. News of his ...

Idris Elba Responds to PEOPLE’s Kids Interview (Exclusive)

Idris Elba doesn’t know what to say! Fielding questions from kids in PEOPLE's exclusive Kids Interview series, Elba, 51, is ...

How Travis Kelce reportedly feels about Taylor Swift writing songs about ex Joe Alwyn

Travis Kelce reportedly has “zero concern” about the fact that his girlfriend, Taylor Swift, may have drawn inspiration from past ...

Rita Moreno Explains Why She Was ‘Astonished’ When She Met Lenny Kravitz

Rita Moreno had a memorable time meeting Lenny Kravitz. On the Thursday, April 18, episode of The Jennifer Hudson Show, ...

Rohit's 250th match, made a great record of runs, still behind Virat

PBKS vs MI: Rohit Sharma is one of those players who has been playing in the Indian Premier League since ...

Taylor Swift fans surprised by apparent Matty Healy songs on ‘TTPD’ album leak

Taylor Swift fans were surprised to learn that her upcoming album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” seemingly references her problematic former ...

‘The Circle’ Producers on Adding AI Max to Netflix Show as First Bot Contestant (Exclusive)

The Circle is taking the concept of catfishing to a whole new level.  Season 6 of the reality TV social ...

Dhawan out, Punjab won the toss and chose to bowl; You will be surprised to see the playing eleven

PBKS vs MI: Punjab Kings captain Sam Curran has decided to bowl after winning the toss. There have been 2 ...

Why Taylor Swift fans think this song from the ‘TTPD’ leak is about Travis Kelce

Taylor Swift’s forthcoming album, “The Tortured Poet’s Department,” was allegedly leaked ahead of its scheduled drop on Friday — and ...

Leave a Comment