Louie Anderson, the stand-up comedian, game show host and Emmy-winning actor, has died at the age of 68 following a battle with cancer.
Anderson was previously diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. As Anderson’s publicist, Glenn Schwartz, confirmed to our sister site Deadline, the actor died Friday morning at a Las Vegas hospital where he’d been getting treatment. Fellow comedian Pauly Shore tweeted Jan. 20 that he had visited Anderson to say his goodbyes. “He’s still with us, but keep him in your prayers,” he said.
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Most recently, Anderson co-starred opposite Zach Galifianakis in the FX comedy Baskets, on which he played Christine, mother of Chip and Dale Baskets. The role earned him the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, as well as the 2016 Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. The series ran for four seasons and concluded in 2019.
“We are so deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Louie Anderson,” the network said in a statement. “For four wonderful seasons, Louie graced us and fans of Baskets with a bravura performance as Christine Baskets, for which he deservedly was recognized by his peers with the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. It was a risky role for him and he embraced it with a fearlessness and joy that demonstrated his brilliance as an artist. He truly cared about his craft and was a true professional in every sense. Our hearts go out to his loved ones and his Baskets family – Zach Galifianakis, Jonathan Krisel and Martha Kelly and all the cast and crew. He will be missed by us all but never forgotten and always bring a smile to our faces.”
Anderson made his debut as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show in 1984. The following year, he was cast opposite Bronson Pinchot in the pilot for ABC’s Perfect Strangers, but was replaced by Mark Linn-Baker when the Miller-Boyett sitcom was picked up to series.
In 1994, he created the Fox animated series Life With Louie, which ran for two episodes in primetime before moving to the network’s Saturday morning block in 1995, where it remained for the duration of its three-season run. His voice work earned him two consecutive Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, in 1997 and 1998.
Anderson also headlined the short-lived CBS sitcom The Louie Show, which ran for six episodes in 1996 and co-starred Bryan Cranston, Paul Feig and Laura Innes.
From 1999 to 2002, Anderson served as host of the popular syndicated game show Family Feud. He returned to the franchise as a contestant in 2017, when he appeared as a contestant on ABC’s Celebrity Family Feud hosted by Steve Harvey.
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