Iconic Stand-Up Comic, Emmy Winner Dead at 68
Beloved stand-up comedian and “Baskets” star Louie Anderson died Jan. 21 at the age of 68.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anderson was previously diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His death resulted from complications with the disease, according to his longtime publicist Glenn Schwartz.
The actor died in a Las Vegas hospital, where he was undergoing treatments for cancer, Schwartz confirmed to People.
Anderson began his career as a stand-up comedian under the training of his mentor, longtime comic Henny Youngman.
He got his first big break in the movie industry when Eddie Murphy tapped him to play the role of Maurice in the 1988 comedy “Coming to America,” according to the Reporter.
Murphy explained the story of how Anderson was cast in the movie in a March 2021 appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” He said the studio was concerned about an all-black cast and suggested he hire at least one white person, Insider reported.
“They were like, ‘There has to be a white person in the movie,'” Murphy said. “I was like, ‘What?’ So who was the funniest white guy around? We knew Louie was cool, so that’s how Louie got in the movie.”
When Paramount forced Eddie Murphy to put a single white person in Coming to America, he chose Louie Anderson. pic.twitter.com/Gf27TssaE8
— David Hill (@davehill77) January 21, 2022
Anderson returned in the Amazon Prime sequel “Coming 2 America,” which was released just last year.
Successful as that movie was, Anderson was probably best known for his role in the FX series “Baskets.” He portrayed matriarch Christine Baskets in the series co-written by Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis and Jonathan Krisel, according to the Reporter.
Anderson said the Emmy-winning portrayal was inspired by his late mother.
“I’m pretty sure my mom orchestrated it from the great beyond, ’cause I mean how would that come up otherwise?” he said. “She always could have been a star herself, so she’s finally getting a chance to act.”
In addition, Anderson served as the host of “Family Feud” and portrayed a younger version of himself on the animated series “Life With Louie,” winning two Daytime Emmys, according to the Reporter.
“He is survived by his two sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson,” Schwartz told People.
Comedian Greg Gottfried mourned Anderson’s loss on Twitter with a picture of the two of them alongside late TV icon Bob Saget.
This photo is very sad now. RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed. pic.twitter.com/DLJ8Ntt7LN
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) January 21, 2022
“This photo is very sad now. RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson,” Gottfried wrote. “Both good friends that will be missed.”
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