Comic and Baskets star Louie Anderson has died aged 68
He was 68.
On Thursday, his friend, fellow comedian Pauly Shore, tweeted that he had said goodbye to Anderson and asked for prayers for the ailing star.
Born one of 11 children in St. Paul, Minnesota, Anderson was a counselor for troubled children when he won first place in the 1981 Midwest Comedy Competition.
The contest host, legendary comedian Henny Youngman, was so impressed that he hired the young comedian as a writer.
Anderson was soon basking in his own spotlight on comedy stages across the country.
Johnny Carson invited Anderson to make his national television debut on The Tonight Show in 1984, and Anderson’s career took off.
Appearances with Jay Leno, David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comic Relief, and Showtime and HBO specials further cemented him as one of Hollywood’s top comedians.
But it was hosting the popular game show Family Feud in 1999 that made Anderson a household name and opened doors for him into acting.
Anderson has made guest appearances on several television series, including Grace Under Fire, Touched by an Angel, and Chicago Hope, and has appeared in films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Coming to America, and its sequel, Coming on 2 America, alongside Eddie Murphy.
He voiced a fictionalized version of his 8-year-old self in the popular 1990s animated series Life With Louie, which ran for three years.
More recently, Anderson appeared in Young Sheldon, had a recurring role in dark comedy Search Party, and joined the cast of hit BET series Twenties.
Critics took notice when Anderson was cast to co-star alongside Zach Galifianakis and Martha Kelly in the hit FX comedy series Baskets in 2016.
Anderson played the role of “Christine,” the matriarch of the Baskets clan, and based the character on his mother and five sisters, who he said played an important role in his life.
The role earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Anderson was also a best-selling author.
His books included Dear Dad – Letters From An Adult Child, Good-bye Jumbo… Hello Cruel World, and The F Word, How To Survive Your Family.
His most recent book, Hey Mom, was published in 2018 and “combines wry wit and poignant humor as he shares his journey to turn life’s challenges into joy, as well as much wisdom received from his late mother.”
Anderson is survived by his two sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson.