LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Legendary comedian, actor and writer Norm Macdonald has passed away at the age of 61.
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Macdonald died after a long battle with cancer, CBSLA confirmed with his manager Marc Gurvitz.
His friend and producing partners, Lori Jo Hoekstra, released a statement saying Macdonald had been privately battling cancer for nine years, but kept his diagnosis private, even from his family.
“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said in the statement. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”
The Canadian native, known for his deadpan delivery, was a stand-up comic and writer on the sitcom “Roseanne” when he was discovered by “SNL” producer Lorne Michaels. Macdonald was on the show from 1993 to 1998, hosting the variety show’s famed “Weekend Update” news segment.READ MORE: LeBron Ruled Out For Thursday's Matchup Against 76ers
After being ousted from the show by an NBC executive, Macdonald has his own comedy series, “Norm.” He also co-wrote and starred in the 1998 film “Dirty Work,” playing a down-his-luck man who starts a revenge-for-hire business.
He had numerous film and television credits, including “Billy Madison,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “The Middle,” “Family Guy” and “The Orville.”
Tributes poured in from across the comedy world upon news of his death.
“No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald. Hilarious and unique. F– cancer,” Jon Stewart tweeted.
We loved Norm MacDonald. One of a kind. https://t.co/0sXoCLEtuG
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) September 14, 2021
This photo was taken after I was a guest on Norm's show. At dinner the laughs just continued nonstop. He will be missed. RIP Norm Macdonald pic.twitter.com/DToJCUBdU2
— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) September 14, 2021
In such a divisive time even among comedians, we can all agree Norm MacDonald was the best. Rest In Peace.💔
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) September 14, 2021
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Never forget this Norm Macdonald appearance on Conan in 1997 — with Courtney Thorne-Smith.
Hilarious. All of it.
Rest In Peace, Norm…pic.twitter.com/LQRMT3fCN7
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) September 14, 2021
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)