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Arts and Entertainment

Amy Poehler Says 'Parks & Rec' Exec Producer Struggled With Addiction

Harris Wittels (Photo via Facebook)
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Just hours after news broke out that Harris Wittels, the co-executive producer of Parks and Recreation, was found dead in his home from a possible drug overdose on Thursday, the show's star Amy Poehler gave a heartfelt speech about Wittels and talked about his drug addiction. Other comedians and friends also took to Twitter to mourn their loss.

At the unite4humanity event in Beverly Hills last night, Poehler was honored with an award for her work with orphans, but during her acceptance speech she chose to speak about the 30-year-old executive producer. "Today, I lost a friend," Poehler said, according to Variety. "I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction."

Poehler added: "I'm sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that fine line everyday."

On Twitter, Parks and Rec alum Rob Lowe also mentioned Wittels' addiction:

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Comedian Sarah Silverman, who snagged Wittels in 2007 when he was a stand-up comedian to write for her series, The Sarah Silverman Program. She tweeted:

Wittels was a brilliant comedian who also wrote for Eastbound and Down and created the wildly popular Twitter @Humblebrag; later, he would pen the book Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty. He was also a recurring guest on Comedy Bang Bang with his segment, "Harris' Foam Corner."

He was candid about his struggle with addiction on a 2012 episode of comedian Pete Holmes' podcast, You Made It Weird. Wittels opened up about how he had been using drugs since he was 12, had been addicted to oxycodone and heroin, and did some rehab stints. Just a day before he died, Wittels performed standup at L.A.'s Meltdown Comics and told the crowd he was sober and in a "good place," TMZ reported.

Wittels' assistant found him in his Los Feliz home on Thursday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities allegedly discovered drug paraphernalia in his home, according to TMZ. Although it's believed he died from a drug overdose, the L.A. County Coroner's Office will perform an autopsy on him on Saturday to determine the cause of death.

Other fellow comedians shared their love for Wittels on Twitter:

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