Norm Macdonald dead: 'SNL' star and comic was 61

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Norm Macdonald, who was a writer, performer and 'Weekend Update' anchor on 'Saturday Night Live' in the '90s, died Tuesday morning of cancer.
Norm Macdonald, the actor and comic best known as a writer, performer and three-season "Weekend Update" anchor on "Saturday Night Live," has died of cancer. He was 61.

Macdonald's death Tuesday morning was confirmed by his manager, Marc Gurvitz. Macdonald had battled cancer privately for nine years.

Longtime producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra told Deadline that her friendwas "most proud" of his comedy and kept his diagnosis private because he didn't want it to change the way people saw him.

"Norm was a pure comic," she said. "He once wrote that 'a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.' He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly."

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"To so many people in comedy, me included, there was nobody funnier than Norm MacDonald," "Family Guy" star Seth MacFarlane tweeted, one of several tributes from peers and admirers. "You always hoped he would hang around after the work was done, just so you could hear his stories and get a laugh. So hilarious and so generous with his personality. I'm gonna miss him."

"Norm, I didn't just like you. I loved you," tweeted fellow "SNL" alum Rob Schneider, sharing several photos of them together. "You didn't just make me laugh. You made me cry with laughter. I'm still crying today. But when I think of you, my tears will run down my face with all the memories of all the laughter and all the joys that you brought to all of us. Rest."

Macdonald wrote about his "SNL" experience in "Based on a True Story," his 2016 memoir.

"I think a lot of people feel sorry for you if you were on 'SNL' and emerged from the show anything less than a superstar. They assume you must be bitter. But it is impossible for me to be bitter," he wrote. "I've been lucky."

Macdonald was born in 1959 in Quebec City, Canada, northeast of Montreal, and grew up watching fellow Canadian Chevy Chase perform.

"I didn't know there were comedy clubs," Macdonald recalled in a December 1995 chat with the Los Angeles Times.…
Christie D'Zurilla
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