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"Parks And Recreation" Executive Producer Dies Of Suspected Overdose

Harris Wittels, an executive producer of Parks and Recreation, was found dead at his home Thursday of a possible drug overdose.

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Updated on

Parks and Recreation executive producer Harris Wittels was pronounced dead around 1 p.m. by law enforcement officials, TMZ reported.

The 30-year-old was found on his couch by his assistant in his home near Los Feliz, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

An official cause of death must still be determined by the Los Angeles County coroner, but several industry publications, citing unidentified sources, reported that Wittels may have died of an overdose.

Wittels had spoken previously about his struggle with drug addiction and had gone to rehab twice.

Wittels had written for Parks and Rec since the show started in 2011 and had appeared in several episodes as an animal control employee.

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In addition to Parks and Rec, Wittels had worked on Eastbound and Down, The Sarah Silverman Program, and Secret Girlfriend.

Parks and Rec is in its final season and will air its last episode Tuesday.

He also popularized the humblebrag, which became such a huge phenomenon Wittels turned it into a book, Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty, in 2012.

Another msg with the notorious @twittels @eatsieboys #phish @Humblebrag

Mykal J. Fox@mykejfoxFollow

Another msg with the notorious @twittels @eatsieboys #phish @Humblebrag

3:10 PM - 28 Dec 13ReplyRetweetFavorite

Wittels performed stand-up comedy and had reportedly told a bit about being clean and sober Wednesday night at the Meltdown, a Los Angeles comedy venue.

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"we're all trying to avoid thinking about death, that's why we get excited about these stupid, human interactions." - Harris last night

Steve Agee@steveageeFollow

"we're all trying to avoid thinking about death, that's why we get excited about these stupid, human interactions." - Harris last night

4:02 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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@kumailn I took this last night. What a fucking tragedy.

Morgan Miller@MrMorganMillerFollow

@kumailn I took this last night. What a fucking tragedy.

4:36 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Don't know what to say. Harris Wittels was a fantastic writer I had the pleasure to work with at Parks and Rec. So so sad. RIP Harris.

billy eichner@billyeichnerFollow

Don't know what to say. Harris Wittels was a fantastic writer I had the pleasure to work with at Parks and Rec. So so sad. RIP Harris.

3:48 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Such heartbreaking news about Harris Wittels. A really funny guy.

Seth Meyers@sethmeyersFollow

Such heartbreaking news about Harris Wittels. A really funny guy.

3:44 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Very sad to learn about the death of Harris Wittels. He was extremely talented and, more importantly, a really nice person.

Lauren Lapkus@laurenlapkusFollow

Very sad to learn about the death of Harris Wittels. He was extremely talented and, more importantly, a really nice person.

3:27 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

We lost one of the best minds and chillest dudes. I'm so fucking sad. I'll miss you @twittels

Ronald Funches@RonFunchesFollow

We lost one of the best minds and chillest dudes. I'm so fucking sad. I'll miss you @twittels

3:37 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

I mean, look at his tweets. One of them made me laugh even right now. This pic is from LAST NIGHT. Fuck. https://t.co/977ITsDwLx

Kumail Nanjiani@kumailnFollow

I mean, look at his tweets. One of them made me laugh even right now. This pic is from LAST NIGHT. Fuck. https://t.co/977ITsDwLx

4:16 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Fucking fuck!! Really? Funny little guy! RIP Harris Wittels.

Brian Posehn@thebrianposehnFollow

Fucking fuck!! Really? Funny little guy! RIP Harris Wittels.

3:58 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

My god we are so heartbroken over the loss of Harris Wittels and feel lucky to have known him at all.

The Meltdown@meltdown_showFollow

My god we are so heartbroken over the loss of Harris Wittels and feel lucky to have known him at all.

3:11 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

I am truly crushed to report that a brilliant comic mind, Harris Wittels, has passed away. This really fucking sucks. #RIPHarris

Chris Hardwick@nerdistFollow

I am truly crushed to report that a brilliant comic mind, Harris Wittels, has passed away. This really fucking sucks. #RIPHarris

3:44 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Harris Wittels wrote my first episode of Eastbound and Down and was a hilarious and fun guy to hang out with. I'm very sad today

Ike Barinholtz@ikebarinholtzFollow

Harris Wittels wrote my first episode of Eastbound and Down and was a hilarious and fun guy to hang out with. I'm very sad today

3:46 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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He was my baby. I just keep thinking of superman flying backwards around the earth. I wish I could do that. I'm so mad at you Harris

Sarah Silverman@SarahKSilvermanFollow

He was my baby. I just keep thinking of superman flying backwards around the earth. I wish I could do that. I'm so mad at you Harris

4:30 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

You should know that Harris was brilliant beyond compare. That his imagination was without limit. That he loved comedy more than anything.

Sarah Silverman@SarahKSilvermanFollow

You should know that Harris was brilliant beyond compare. That his imagination was without limit. That he loved comedy more than anything.

4:33 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

That his heart was big and he FELT hard. That he was someone who would reach out to tell you he was thinking of you for no particular reason

Sarah Silverman@SarahKSilvermanFollow

That his heart was big and he FELT hard. That he was someone who would reach out to tell you he was thinking of you for no particular reason

4:35 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

That he was honest even if it was gonna piss u off or make him look shitty. He told the truth. Even when it was ugly. Even when he lied.

Sarah Silverman@SarahKSilvermanFollow

That he was honest even if it was gonna piss u off or make him look shitty. He told the truth. Even when it was ugly. Even when he lied.

4:37 PM - 19 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Amy Poehler said Thursday night that she "lost a friend. I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction.”

She was being honored with the Unity Award at Variety's unite4humanity event, when she took a moment to to speak about Wittels.

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

"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."

Ansari goes on to write about how he met Wittels and different projects they worked on together. Read the full post here.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Honolulu.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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