Henry Winkler, Howie Mandel, Gilbert Gottfried and More Stars React to Louie Anderson's Death

·8 min read
Henry Winkler, Howie Mandel, Gilbert Gottfried and More Stars React to Louie Anderson's Death

Stars are mourning the loss of comedian Louie Anderson.

On Friday, the Baskets alum's longtime publicist, Glenn Schwartz, confirmed the news of his death to PEOPLE. Anderson died after a battle with blood cancer.

"Iconic comedian Louie Anderson passed away peacefully on Friday morning January 21 in Las Vegas at age 68," the statement read. "He is survived by his two sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson."

Schwartz added that the "cause of death was complications from cancer."

howie mandel henry winkler, gilbert gottfried
howie mandel henry winkler, gilbert gottfried

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A week before the Emmy-winning comedian died, Schwartz told Rolling Stone that Anderson was "in a Las Vegas hospital being treated for diffuse large B cell lymphoma, a form of cancer." His rep additionally ensured that Anderson was "resting comfortably" while undergoing treatments.

Shortly after the Minnesota native's death was announced, stars began reacting to the news on social media.

Louie Anderson
Louie Anderson

Slaven Vlasic/Getty

Bryan Cranston, who costarred on The Louie Show with Anderson, shared a tribute on Instagram. "I was saddened to hear the news today of Louie Anderson's passing. Twenty six years ago I played his best friend in a series and this morning I've been wistfully remembering that experience with him," Cranston wrote. "Louie was known for being big, but that wasn't just in his presence. He was also big-hearted. An expert in the craft of comedy, and a very kind man. Although The Louie Show only lasted six episodes…later on he was able to showcase his big talent on Baskets. I was delighted to see him really shine. Bravo, Louie. Rest now big fella."

Fellow stand-up comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried shared his condolences on Twitter. Gottfried shared a photo of himself with Anderson, alongside Bob Saget, who recently died on January 9 at 65.

"This photo is very sad now," Gottfried, 66, wrote. "RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed."

"I had the pleasure of chatting with @LouieAnderson for his podcast and was so grateful to meet him," actress Kristen Schaal tweeted. "His books are still here and they are a good read."

Choosing to address Anderson directly, Henry Winkler raved about what a great person the late talent was.

"Louie Anderson: Your generosity of spirit will cover the world from above," wrote Winkler, 76. "We are so lucky you were on earth for a moment, spreading your humor all over like bars of living gold ... Good Bye."

Howie Mandel said he has "no words but love and shock" upon hearing the news of Anderson's death.

"What is going on? We just lost another beautiful funny friend," the America's Got Talent judge, 66, wrote. "Omg there's got to be more funny up there than down here. Norm [Macdonald], Bob [Saget] and now @LouieAnderson."

"Not one, but TWO artists I really looked up to passed away today," RuPaul's Drag Race alum Ginger Minj tweeted, referencing singer and actor Meat Loaf, who also died on Friday.

"I always wanted to sing like #Meatloaf and be as warmly funny as #LouieAnderson," Minj continued. "Devastated that we lost both at once, but grateful they shared their gifts w/ us! #RIPMeatLoaf #riplouieanderson #imgoingbacktobed."

Family Guy writer and producer David Zuckerman tweeted, "Louie Anderson too? Wow."

"So sad to hear about the passing of Louie Anderson," Pose co-creator Steven Canals tweeted. "I met him the day I walked my 1st red carpet. We were still filming season 1 of POSE and he was so kind & generous with his time & advice. As a fan of his 90s animated series Life with Louie I was star struck. RIP #LouieAnderson."

"Louie Anderson was a very dear friend and one of the people who very early in my career believed in me and would put me and a couple of other comics he loved up in a hotel in Vegas and pay us to open for him when we needed money," writer and director Travon Free tweeted. "What a huge loss. Rest in peace my friend."

"R.I.P. Louie Anderson," Chuck alum Adam Baldwin wrote.

Kevin Smith wrote in response to an unkind Twitter post from someone referencing his weight, "Already faced the Reaper 4 years ago. Made me drop a buncha weight, switch to plant-based foods, and add daily exercise. I'm not shaking in my jorts today because I'm *always* worried my heart'll attack me again. RIP to both Meatloaf & Louie Anderson. Their art made life better."

Jamie Kennedy, a comedian known for his ties to the Scream franchise, tweeted: "Louie Anderson made me cry almost as much as he made me laugh."

"Never have I encountered someone with that much duality," the 51-year-old continued. "A true Comics comic. Purging the depths of his pain to make you laugh. What beautiful soul. I ❤️ ❤️ u Louie. Hope your at peace now 🙏🙏. #BeautifulLegend."

Melissa Joan Hart, who directed him in an episode of Young Sheldon, recalled that the comedian "made us all giggle constantly" during his time on set.

A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Anderson won the outstanding supporting actor Emmy Award for his role in FX's Baskets in 2016, after having been nominated for three consecutive years. He also won two Daytime Emmys for his animated series Life with Louie in 1997 and 1998.

In a statement mourning Anderson's death, FX wrote: "We are so deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Louie Anderson. For four wonderful seasons, Louie graced us and fans of Baskets with a bravura performance as Christine Baskets, for which he deservedly was recognized by his peers with the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. It was a risky role for him and he embraced it with a fearlessness and joy that demonstrated his brilliance as an artist. He truly cared about his craft and was a true professional in every sense. Our hearts go out to his loved ones and his Baskets family – Zach Galifianakis, Jonathan Krisel and Martha Kelly and all the cast and crew. He will be missed by us all but never forgotten and always bring a smile to our faces."

Throughout his prolific career, Anderson became known as one of America's most beloved comedians, previously earning the title of "One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time" by Comedy Central.

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