TMZ is reporting today that one of the stars of FX’s Baskets and long-time comedian, Louie Anderson, has passed away at the age of 68. Anderson was taken to a Las Vegas hospital 3 days ago for treatment of his diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Louie Anderson’s death comes as a shock due to the specific blood cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is typically very treatable, although extremely aggressive.
The Life & Times of Louie Anderson
Louie Perry Anderson was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on March 24, 1953. Born to his mother, Ora Z., and father, Louis William Anderson, he was the 2nd youngest of 11 children. Ora gave birth to 16 children in total, but their firstborn and two sets of twins died during childbirth. Anderson would eventually attend the Johnson Senior High in Saint Paul.
At the age of 31, Anderson made his stand-up debut on The Tonight Show. From there, he would get a couple of small roles in a couple of notable productions; one was for ABC’s pilot episode of Perfect Strangers in 1985, then in Ferris Bueler’s Day Off as a singing telegram in 1986.
Anderson’s first stand-up special came in 1987 with Showtime, and just a year later, he co-starred in Eddy Murphy’s Coming to America and later reprised his role for the 2021 sequel, Coming 2 America. Years later, Anderson got his own show in the form of an animated series on the FOX network on December 18, 1994; Life With Louie was based on his childhood and showed how he was teased about his weight as a kid and how the beloved comedian used humor as a way to deal with all the bullying. The show ran for 3 seasons and managed to win two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.
He would later get another show, this time a live-action sitcom called The Louie Show, but after only 6 episodes, CBS decided to cancel the show. Then in 1995, he was given the role of Family Feud host, which he did for 3 seasons. Besides being a comedian, Louie Anderson also competed in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was the spokesperson for his home state’s Land O’Lakes Sweet Cream butter brand.
And most recently, he was cast as Christine Baskets in FX’s 2016 surprise hit, Baskets. Even winning one more Emmy, this time for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Before Louie Anderson’s death, he had been very outspoken about his efforts to lose weight, as he managed to lose 30-40 pounds during the pandemic.
Louie Anderson was 68 years old and will be remembered for a lifetime of comedy. Our condolences to his family and friends. RIP.