Amy Poehler was honored at Thursday night's unite4:humanity gala for her work with Worldwide Orphans Foundation, but the "Parks and Recreation" star used the event to pay tribute to Harris Wittels. The 30-year-old "Parks and Rec" producer, writer and guest star died on Thursday at his home.
"Today, I lost a friend," Poehler said. "I lost a dear young man in my life, who was struggling with addiction and who 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. At the end of the day when things happen in our lives we turn to the 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."
Wittels had gone to rehab twice for drug addiction. He memorably talked about it during an episode of the Nerdist podcast "You Made It Weird."
"I have done drugs recreationally since I was, like, 12," Wittels said in the episode, which aired in November of last year. "The thing that happens with opiates is you get sick. You fucking go into withdrawals. So now it's like I have to do drugs, or I'm not well."
No cause of death has been determined for Wittels yet. According to the Los Angeles Times, an autopsy will likely be performed this weekend and results of any toxicology tests will not be known for more than six weeks.
Poehler wasn't the only member of the "Parks and Recreation" team to comment Wittels' death. Rob Lowe, who also appeared on the show, tweeted his condolences:
Goddammit. Addiction takes another. Goodbye Harris Wittels, you were so funny and so sweet. It's a pleasure to have known you. #ParksandRec
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 20, 2015