The actor, known for his work on “Saturday Night Live,” secretly battled cancer for nearly a decade.
Norm Macdonald , one of the best-known and most loved comedians on “Saturday Night Live,” died Tuesday after a nine-year private battle with cancer . He was 61 years old . The sad news was confirmed by his representative to Deadline .
The popular comedian’s longtime friend and partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra , who was with him when he passed away, told the aforementioned outlet that Macdonald had been battling cancer for almost a decade, but decided to keep his health problems private. away from his family, friends and fans.
“ He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comedian. He once wrote that ‘a joke should surprise someone, it should never please’. It certainly never pleased. Norm will be missed a lot, ”Hoekstra told the US media Deadline .
Macdonald was a member of “ Saturday Night Live ” (SNL) from 1993 to 1998. The actor and screenwriter was famous for his impressions of Burt Reynolds , David Letterman , Larry King and Quentin Tarantino . After five years on “SNL,” during which he spent three hosting the ” Weekend Update” sketch , the comedian starred in his own sitcom, “The Norm Show.” In addition to his work before the cameras, he was also the voice of Lucky the dog in the movie “ Dr. Doolittle, ” starring another ex from “SNL,” Eddie Murphy.
“I’d love to stay on ‘SNL’ forever, but you can’t stay in the same place, ” he told TV Guide in 1997. “People think you’re a loser.”
The comedian’s departure from “Saturday Night Live” was controversial. At the time, his dismissal was attributed to his constant comments against OJ Simpson , who was a close friend of Don Ohlmeyer, president of the West Coast division of NBC.
Macdonald long maintained that his firing was due to his harsh attacks on OJ Simpson during the former NFL player’s murder trial. James Downey, who wrote many of the Simpsons jokes, was fired at the same time and told the Vulture in 2014 that they were both fired because of Ohlmeyer’s friendship with Simpson.
Over the years, he made numerous appearances on various late-night shows, including “Late Night With David Letterman” and “Conan,” and had a recurring role on “The Middle.” He was part of movies like “Billy Madison” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt ”. He also did a Netflix talk show, “Norm Macdonald Has a Show,” in 2018.
Born on October 17, 1959, in Quebec City , Macdonald began his career in show business in Canadian comedy clubs , developing the deadpan style that would become his trademark and that would define a generation of comedians. He made his Hollywood debut as a screenwriter for the show “Roseanne” in 1992.
Artists such as Jim Carrey, Jon Stewart and Seth Rogen paid tribute to the influential comedian.
“My dear friend Norm MacDonald passed away after a valiant 10-year battle. It was one of our most precious gems. An honest and brave comedy genius. I loved him, ” Jim Carrey wrote on his Twitter account after hearing the sad news. “No one could make you laugh like Norm Macdonald. Fun and unique, ”Stewart tweeted.
“He was a huge fan of Norm Macdonald. Today we lost a comedy giant. One of the greats of all time “ , expressed Rogen in his social networks.
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