Louie Anderson died on Friday January 21 at age 68, after a battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The Emmy Award-winning comedian had announced that he’d been diagnosed on Tuesday January 18 and was receiving treatment in Las Vegas. He was beloved by many, mostly for his role in the FX series Baskets. The comic passed away while receiving treatment, according to TMZ.
Born the second youngest of 11 children in 1953, Louie was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Louie rose to national attention in 1984, when he performed standup-comedy on The Tonight Show, while it was hosted by Johnny Carson. Louie’s standup comedy was observational. In his debut late night set, he made deprecating jokes about his weight, along with bits about fast food, the Olympics and much more.
Throughout the 1980s, Louie appeared in a number of classic movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Coming To America with Eddie Murphy. He continued bringing laughs across the country during the 1990s, when he starred in his animated series Life With Louie, which ran from 1994 to 1998, where he voiced the narrator, the father, and the titular Little Louie. He also starred in the short-lived The Louie Show.
One of Louie’s most beloved roles came in 2016, when he played Christine Baskets in the FX sitcom Baskets. The show earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 2016 Emmy Awards. He was nominated for the award twice more in 2017 and 2018. The 2010s also saw Louie releasing two more standup specials, and he reprised his role as Maurice in the 2021 sequel Coming 2 America. His most recent performance came in 2021 when he made an appearance in Twenties.
The comedian’s battle with cancer was announced in January 2021. His rep shared the news in a statement to People. “Iconic comedian Louie Anderson is currently in a Las Vegas hospital being treated for diffuse large B cell lymphoma, a form of cancer,” he told the magazine. “He is resting comfortably.”