Louie Anderson, beloved comedian, actor and host, dies at 68

Louie Anderson, the beloved comedian, actor and game show host, died Friday at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer, his longtime publicist confirmed.

What You Need To Know

  • Beloved comedian, actor and game show host Louie Anderson died Friday at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer
  • Anderson, a St. Paul, Minneosta, native, was the second-youngest of 11 children; Anderson described his father as an alcoholic and “abusive” in a 2018 interview with Stephen Colbert
  • Anderson’s four-decade comedy career began after he made his network television debut on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1984
  • He wona Primetime Emmy Award in 2016 for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Christine Baskets in the FX series “Baskets” 

Anderson, who a Primetime Emmy Award in 2016 for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Christine Baskets in the FX series “Baskets,” was battling a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his publicist Glenn Schwartz said previously. Schwartz confirmed that Anderson died at a Las Vegas hospital of complications from cancer.

Anderson’s four-decade comedy career began after the St. Paul, Minnesota, native made his network television debut on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1984. He was the second-youngest of 11 children; Anderson described his father as an alcoholic and “abusive” in a 2018 interview with Stephen Colbert.

After his Carson debut, Anderson had memorabile film roles in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Coming to America” and had a Showtime comedy special, one of the early forays into premium cable comedy specials, before creating, producing and starring in the hit animated series “Life with Louie” on FOX in 1995.

“Life with Louie” was based on Anderson’s childhood in the midwest with his parents and 10 siblings. The series ran for three seasons on FOX and netted Anderson two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.

He also created and starred in “The Louie Show” for CBS in 1996, which was canceled after six episodes. 

Anderson later hosted a revival of “Family Feud” from 1999 to 2000, including an appearance in a 2000 video game spin-off of the show, and had notable guest roles on “Scrubs,” “Grace Under Fire,” “Touched by an Angel” and Adult Swim’s “Tom Goes to the Mayor.”

Anderson received critical acclaim in recent years for his portrayal of Christine Baskets, mother to twins both portrayed by Zach Galifianakis in the series “Baskets.” After his 2016 Emmy win, he was nominated for the role for the next two subsequent years.

Comedian Pauly Shore wrote on Twitter that he got to visit Anderson in the hospital in Las Vegas on Thursday, one day before his death: “His sisters and close friend were kind enough to let me say my goodbyes.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for further updates.