Just days after it was announced that he was battling diffuse large B cell lymphoma, stand-up comic and actor Louie Anderson has died. He was 68.
ExtraTV reports that Anderson died in a Las Vegas hospital.
Anderson was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to a family of 11 children on March 24, 1953. He was close with his mother, but his alcoholic father was abusive. Each parent informed his future work in opposing ways.
After working for years as a stand-up, often poking fun at his weight problems, Anderson killed during his Tonight Show debut in 1984 on his journey to becoming, according to Comedy Central, one of the 100 greatest stand-up acts ever.
Dumped from the TV series Perfect Strangers after filming its pilot, he acted in the movies Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1984), Ratboy (1986), and Coming to America (1988).
Anderson twice won a Daytime Emmy for the Saturday morning kids' show on FOX, Life with Louie (1995-1998). The series highlighted his problems with his dad.
The Louie Show (1996) lasted only six episodes, but he enjoyed a three-year run as the host of Family Feud (1999-2002).
For a year beginning in 1997, Anderson was blackmailed over his sexual orientation, paying six figures for fear of losing work. He finally went to the authorities and helped put his tormentor behind bars.
From 2003-2012, Anderson was a big draw in Las Vegas with his Louie: Larger Than Life act.
He achieved his greatest success playing Christine Baskets on the FX series Baskets (2016-2019), about a dysfunctional family. He was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series three times, winning in 2016.
Anderson had always said Christine was a tribute to his late mother. Upon winning the Emmy, he emotionally said, "I'm just so overwhelmed... It's such an honor to get this award. I really give it up for my mom. This is like her being here, and I'm happy for her. She was a star in her own right, so, I couldn't be happier."
After Baskets ended in 2019, he appeared on Young Sheldon (2020), on five episodes of Search Party (2020), reprised his role as Maurice for Coming 2 America (2021), and gave his final performances for TV on two episodes of the series Twenties (2021).
Anderson is survived by his sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson.