Beloved comedian Louie Anderson, a former host of Family Feud and multi-time Emmy winner, has died at the age of 68. Glenn Schwartz, Anderson’s longtime publicist, told Deadline the performer passed away in Las Vegas after being admitted to a hospital earlier in the week for treatment of diffuse large B cell lymphoma cancer.
Born March 24, 1953 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Anderson was one of eleven children. Before he began his long storied career in show business, he worked as a counselor to troubled children. Anderson made the switch to standup in the early ’80s. He found success immediately, winning the 1981 Midwest Comedy Competition hosted by Henny Youngman. The legendary comedian then hired Anderson as a writer.
In 1984 Anderson made the first of his many late-night appearances when he appeared on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson. Anderson also starred in countless comedy specials during his career. Including many of his own. And he also appeared in a number of classic movies and TV shows. His credits include roles in Coming to America, its sequel Coming 2 America, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. As well as Grace Under Fire, Touched by an Angel, Scrubs, Ally McBeal, Nash Bridges, Chicago Hope, and Search Party.
A generation of younger fans knew the comedian with the instantly recognizable voice best from his popular animated series Life with Louie. Louie Anderson based the show on own childhood. It ran from 1994 to 1998 and earned the comedian two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.
Anderson was also a best-selling author. His books included Dear Dad – Letters From An Adult Child, Goodbye Jumbo…Hello Cruel World, The F Word, How To Survive Your Family, and Hey Mom. From 1999 to 2002 he also assumed the mantle of leading the iconic game show Family Feud. And in 2016, he took home another Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for FX’s Baskets. Anderson played Christine Baskets on the show from 2016 to 2019.
Louie Anderson is survived by his sisters Lisa and Shanna Anderson. And by the many fans who loved him.