Louie Anderson death: Baskets star and ex-Family Feud presenter dies aged 68

Actor was admitted to hospital earlier this week

Sam Moore
Friday 21 January 2022 15:27
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Actor and comedian Louie Anderson has died, aged 68.

The Baskets and Family Feud star was admitted to hospital earlier this week to treat his diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Best known for his role in Baskets alongside Zach Galifianakis, Anderson won an Emmy for his performance in 2016.

Anderson had been a staple in film and TV since the 1980s, appearing in hit comedies such as Coming to America alongside Eddie Murphy. He reprised his role as Maurice in last year’s much-anticipated sequel Coming 2 America.

Anderson also had a small role John Hughes’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and appeared alongside Kevin Bacon in Quicksilver. Before Coming 2 America, Anderson’s previous film appearance was a cameo as himself in Adam Sandler’s Sandy Wexler.

Anderson had also been a TV game show host, most notably fronting Family Feud between 1999 and 2002 before being replaced with Home Improvement star Richard Karn.

He was most recently a regular panellist on Funny You Should Ask between 2017 and 2020. Other regular panellist included Jon Lovitz, Whitney Cummings and Cedric the Entertainer.

Anderson also drew acclaim for his short-lived animated sitcom Life with Louie which aired on Fox between 1994 and 1998.

A number of comedians and colleagues have paid tribute to Anderson.

Michael McKean, from Better Call Saul and This is Spinal Tap tweeted: “Baskets was such a phenomenal ‘second act’ for Louie Anderson. I wish he’d gotten a third. RIP.”

Actor Michael Abbott Jr wrote: “Louie Anderson’s role as Christine on Baskets will go down as one of tv comedies greatest gifts.”

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Haley Joel Osment also praised the late comedian’s talent: “Spent many hours on a road trip not long ago listening to his stand up and stories and I think everyone in the car cracked a rib - what a master -Rest In Peace.”

Screenwriter Stephen Falk reminisced about working with Anderson: “My first Hollywood job was getting Louie Anderson cigarettes and donuts every day on his CBS sitcom. Most of the time I spent watching him play pinball in his dressing room while he told me to quit and pursue my career. He was super nice to even lil dumb dumbs like me. RIP.”

Anderson was born in Minnesota as the second youngest of 11 children. After moving to Hollywood in the 1980s, he married his high school sweetheart, only for them to divorce four weeks later.

He is survived by two sisters.

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