Louie Anderson: Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian dies aged 68 after battle with cancer

January 21, 2022

Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian Louie Anderson has died at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer.

The star of the series Baskets died on Friday morning in Las Vegas, where was admitted to hospital to receive treatment for diffuse large B cell lymphoma, his publicist Glenn Schwartz told Deadline.

Anderson won a Primetime Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series in 2016 for his role as Christine Baskets in the FX series, and was nominated another two times.

His performance in the animated programme Life with Louie, which aired on Fox from 1997 to 1998, earned him two Daytime Emmys.

He created the show based on his childhood.

Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was a counsellor to troubled children before winning first place in the Midwest Comedy Competition in 1981, which gave him his start in comedy, according to Deadline.

Anderson starred in films like Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Coming to America, Eddie Murphy's 1988 hit movie.

From 1999 to 2002 he hosted the popular American game show Family Feud and was cast in several sitcoms over the last two decades.

He guest-starred on the Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon and was a recurring character in the TBS comedy Search Party.

One of 11 children, Anderson grew up with an alcoholic father who he described as violent and unpredictable.

Despite his success as a comic, he said he felt no relief from his pain, so he entered therapy and joined a group for the children of alcoholics, which helped him "break a lifelong pattern of denial".

This journey was chronicled in his 1991 book, Dear Dad.

He said his mother was complacent and treated the family's pain with large amounts of food, which he talked about in his 1994 book Goodbye Jumbo ... Hello Cruel World.

He battled an addiction to junk food and problems with low self-esteem which he said he expressed by overeating.

In a 1987 interview with The Associated Press, Anderson compared himself to another comedian who mined his childhood for comedy.

"Bill Cosby and I had similar goals," Anderson told AP.

"I wanted parents to be able to bring their children and children to be able to bring their parents to my concerts.

"I feel a family that can laugh about family problems is better off.

"The difference between Cosby and myself is that he sees it from an adult perspective and I tell it from a child's viewpoint."

In 1987 he said he had stopped using his size as stage material, saying: "I've always been big. But I don't do fat jokes anymore."

Anderson is survived by two sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson, according to his publicist.

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