Norm Macdonald dies at 61

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Norm Macdonald, the comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" star, has died at 61 after a battle with cancer.
Norm Macdonald, the former "Saturday Night Live" star whose wry delivery delighted audiences, has died at 61.

Macdonald passed away Tuesday after a nearly decadelong private battle with cancer. The comedian's manager, Marc Gurvitz, confirmed the news, which was first reported by Deadline, in a phone call to NBC News.

Norm Macdonald anchoring the "Weekend Update" desk in April 1997. Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

The comedian's longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him at the time of his death, said Macdonald was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans.

Hoekstra shared a statement about Macdonald's passing.

"He was most proud of his comedy. He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him," the statement read. "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."

Macdonald, who was born in Quebec City, Canada, was an "SNL" cast member from 1993-98. He's best remembered as the anchor of the show's "Weekend Update" segments, where he delivered caustic jokes about celebrities and politicians in an…
Gina Vivinetto, Diana Dasrath
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