It seems like 2022 has started with a deluge of celebrity deaths, and here is yet another one: Louie Anderson, the popular standup comedian, actor, and game show host has died. He passed away on Friday morning after recently entering the hospital to treat diffuse large B cell lymphoma. His death was confirmed by Deadline. Anderson was just 68 years old.
A native of Minnesota, Anderson made his breakthrough TV appearance in 1984 when he performed on The Tonight Show for the first time.
In 1985, Anderson appeared in the pilot for Perfect Strangers as the American cousin of Bronson Pinchot’s eccentric immigrant Balki, although he was replaced by Mark Linn-Baker when the show went to series. Anderson instead became a mainstay on the standup comedy scene, touring for decades, and releasing numerous standup specials. (He also headlined his own show in Las Vegas for a decade starting in 2003.) One of his earliest onscreen roles was a memorable supporting performance opposite Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in Coming to America.
In the 1990s, Anderson co-created his own animated series based on his life titled Life With Louie, with Anderson voicing himself as an 8-year-old growing up in Wisconsin in a house with many siblings. (Anderson also provided the voice of his own father.)
In 1999, Anderson became the first host of the revived Family Feud, following in the footsteps of Richard Dawson and Ray Combs. Anderson hosted the show for three years, and returned in 2017 to appear as a contestant on an edition of Celebrity Family Feud. Anderson was also a regular on the game shows Hollywood Squares and Funny You Should Ask, and he made dozens of appearances on late night television, including The Tonight Show, Arsenio Hall, Late Night, The Late Show, and The Late Late Show.
In recent years, Anderson earned acclaim, several Emmy nominations, and one Emmy win for his work on the FX series Baskets playing Christine Baskets, the mom of Zach Galifianakis’ characters, Chip and Dale. He also won several Daytime Emmys for Life With Louie as well. He had an amazing career and he will be missed. January really can’t end soon enough; it’s been a brutal month.