Tributes have been pouring in for Chicago-born comedian Garry Shandling, who has died of "a massive heart attack" at the age of 66.

The award-winning comic created Garry Shandling's Show in 1986 and pioneered a form of docudrama comedy which influenced Britain's Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge character, among others.

Noted for breaking the fourth wall between performer and audience, the show featured Shandling essentially playing himself and often speaking directly to the camera.

Shandling followed the Emmy award-nominated series with The Larry Sanders Show in 1992.

Considered by leading critics and industry figures as his comic masterpiece, it starred Shandling as an egotistical late-night TV host.

The HBO series also featured celebrities playing parodies of themselves.

Among the many honours the Emmy Award-winning series took home was a Bafta for 1999 outstanding international programme and two British Comedy Awards.

Recently seen in Jerry Seinfeld's web-series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Shandling is featured in The Jungle Book movie, which is set to be released in April.

He also appeared in Captain America: Civil War.

On his official Twitter account, The Office creator Gervais tweeted: "RIP the great Garry Shandling. Surely, one of the most influential comedians of a generation."