Following a recent hospitalization, the veteran comedian Louie Anderson who gained wide recognition for his role in Baskets has died Friday morning at the age 68.

Anderson has been active as a stand-up since he debuted on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1984. Anderson would record six stand-up specials throughout his career, becoming known for riffing on his family life and loved not only by audiences but other comedians for his natural ability. He also used his family and midwestern upbringing as the basis of an animated sitcom Life With Louie, which ran for three seasons and won two Emmy Awards for his voice performance.

He was also an accomplished actor and host. He had small roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Coming To America, and was both a host and guest for several game shows including Family Feud and Hollywood Squares.

Anderson’s biggest smash-hit role was the gender-swapped performance as Christine Baskets in the Zach Galifianakis-created dark comedy series Baskets. He won an Emmy Award out of three nominations for the role.

Louie Anderson was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota to Ora Z (née Prouty) and Louis William Anderson. He was the second youngest of 11 children and has said that his father was abusive to the family growing up. After his tough childhood, Anderson initially worked as a social worker with troubled teens. He was later encouraged by friends to enter the Midwest Comedy Competition and he won first prize in 1981.

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

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