Amy Poehler paid tribute to her Parks and Recreation producer/writer Harris Wittels on Thursday, as she received a charity award hours after he was found dead at his Los Angeles home.
The comedienne was feted with the Unity Award at the Unite4:Humanity bash, but she admitted she was in a sombre mood as she shared the sad news with the audience at the event in Beverly Hills, California.
In her acceptance speech, she said, “Today, I lost a friend. I lost a dear, young man in my life who was struggling with addiction and died. Just a few hours before we came…
“I’m sharing it with you because life and death live so close together and we walk that fine line every day and at the end of the day when things happen in our lives, we turn to people that we love, and we look to our family and our community for support, and we lean on people in a hope that they will ease our pain… 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.”
Poehler was presented with the Unity Award in recognition of her work with the Worldwide Orphans children’s organization.
Police have yet to reveal Wittels’ official cause of death, but have confirmed they are treating it as a suspected drug overdose.
Wittels, 30, was also a guest star on Parks and Recreation, which is set for its series finale in the U.S. on Tuesday.