How did Breck Denny die? ‘Ratched’ actor dies at 34 just before he was to be married

Denny's death comes just months before he was due to marry his fiance Emily Levitan, who works as Director of Netflix's Original Series division

                            How did Breck Denny die? ‘Ratched’ actor dies at 34 just before he was to be married
Actor Breck Denny died unexpectedly on January 17 (The Groundlings website)

Actor, writer, and comedian Breck Denny, best known for his roles on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Ratched' died on January 17, 2022. His death was first confirmed by The Groundlings, a Los-Angeles-based comedy troupe that Denny was a part of since 2013. Tributes have now begun to pour in for Denny on social media, after The Groundlings statement on January 21, 2022. 

Tragically, Denny becomes the third comedian to die in 2022, just days before Louie Anderson. Anderson, who died on January 21, was admitted to the hospital days earlier after being diagnosed with cancer but sadly did not make it. His death came as a huge blow to many comedians who were still mourning the passing of Bob Saget, who died on January 9 in Orlando. Saget reportedly suffered a heart attack while in his hotel room, and was laid to rest at Mount Sinai memorial park in an emotional ceremony attended by hundreds of friends and family members.


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As with Anderson and Saget, it appears Denny also succumbed  to a medical condition that led to his sudden and unexpected demise. A graduate of New York University, Denny was slowly becoming a hot property in Hollywood, having appeared in several TV shows and advertisements. 

How did Breck Denny die?

Denny's family told Deadline that the 34-year-old suffered a rare spontaneous splenic artery rupture. According to one study, it occurs in less than 1% of the general population, and mostly in women. Denny was reportedly in Santa Barbara, California at the time. Tragically, his death comes just months before Denny was due to marry fiance Emily Levitan, who works as Director of Netflix's Original Series division. PEOPLE reported that their wedding was set for April 30, nearly a year after they got engaged in July 2021. 

"It is with heavy hearts that we share that Breck Denny, a senior member of our Sunday Company, passed away unexpectedly on Monday. He has been a part of the Groundlings community for many years, was a fantastic performer, and was one of the nicest, funniest people you'd ever meet. He will be missed immensely, and our thoughts go out to his family and friends," The Groundlings wrote on Instagram. 


Apart from a nearly decade-long run with the comedy group, Denny is also credited on numerous TV shows like 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', 'Heels', 'Ratched', and 'Dead to Me'. His last credited appearance was on the Apple TV Plus show 'The Shrink Next Door' featuring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd.

'He put a smile on everyone’s face'

"We lost a spotlight amongst friends this week in #BreckDenny I had only just started to get to know him, and then seeing him @groundlings & feeling he was the next in line to follow tradition of grounded funny men like Akroyd, Candy, Hartman. He put a smile on everyone’s face…," one person mourned on Twitter. Another tweeted, "Devastating news about Breck Denny. He was a brilliant comedian and extraordinary talent. I only worked with him very briefly but that's all it took to sense how incredible he was. My heart goes out to his friends and family." Another said, "Man, I wish everyone could’ve met Breck Denny. Im gonna miss talking about sea shanties with him real bad."




There were also plenty of responses to The Groundlings' post, with users commenting things like "What terrible news. My deepest condolences," and "So so sad, such a loss. He radiated kindness and total joy. The Dennys are a wonderful family and had an incredibly sweet son." In lieu of flowers, Denny's family has asked fans and well-wishers to donate to The Groundlings Theatre & School in Los Angeles or Kieve Wavus Education or even to donate blood at The Red Cross.