Louie Anderson, ‘Family Feud’ Host and ‘Baskets’ Star, Dies at 68

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Louie Anderson, comedian, game show host and Emmy winner, has passed away at the age of 68 on Friday morning. Earlier this week, Anderson was hospitalized in Las Vegas to receive treatment for large B cell lymphoma, a form of cancer. At the time, his long-time publicist Glenn Schwartz reported that he was “resting comfortably” in his hospital bed, according to the report.

Since the 1980s, Louie Anderson has been a comedic force on screens. His career began with a few minor appearances, including a part in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, until he got his big break in 1988’s Eddie Murphy-led Coming to America as well as the much-later sequel in 2021. Anderson has also starred in a few namesake series, such as The Louie Show and Life with Louie in the mid-to-late 90s. From 1999 to 2002, he served as the host of Family Feud.

His most recent claim to fame was his part in the FX comedy series Baskets in which he portrayed Christine Baskets. In 2016, he won an Emmy for his performance in the series for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.” Comedy Central has also named him as one of the “100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time.”

Outsider extends its condolences to Louie Anderson’s family and friends.

Louie Anderson Focused on Improving His Health Prior to Death

Prior to his recent hospitalization, Louie Anderson spoke about his renewed efforts to improve his health and manage his weight. At the start of the pandemic, Anderson began using intermittent fasting techniques to help jump-start his significant weight loss.

Of course, when he spoke about his transformation, the comedian couldn’t help but poke a little fun at himself.

“I started the pandemic at about 370 or 380 pounds depending on what I was leaning on,” Anderson said in a recent talk show appearance. “And now I’m 340. I’m trying to get 275 so I can get into some of my mom’s actual clothes. I’m on the intermittent fast – one minute I’m eating, the next minute I’m not. No, it’s a wonderful thing, the intermittent fasting.”

Louie Anderson further discussed his lifestyle change during his appearance on Conan O’Brien. He joked that he would have to retire his self-deprecating “fat jokes” from his stand-up act once he got thinner.

“Yes, I’m going to retire my fat jokes,” he said. “I think I’ll always be funny.”

At the time, he admitted that compulsive eating was his biggest problem. He even used to describe himself as a “food addict.” Once he began fasting and making changes to his dietary regimen, though, he felt that he had gained back control of his health.

“I learned a lot and feel good,” he shared. “I’m no longer compulsively eating like I was and that was the big thing for me.”