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Canadian stand-up comedian Norm Macdonald has died at the age of 61

Canadian stand-up comedian Norm Macdonald has died at the age of 61
/ Tim Mosenfelder / Contributor / Getty Images Entertainment

Canadian-born comedian Norm Macdonald died today after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61.

Entertainment news site Deadline first reported his death Tuesday afternoon, before Macdonald's management firm, Brillstein Entertainment, confirmed the news.

The comedian’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra told Deadline that Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade but was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. 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.”

Born and raised in Quebec City, Macdonald is often most recognized and remembered for his time spent as a regular cast member of Saturday Night Live (SNL), including his wry, deadpan delivery as the anchorman of the popular sketch titled, "Weekend Update".

He also wrote for shows like Roseanne and The Dennis Miller Show in the early '90s, before starring alongside Adam Sandler in the 1995 hit Billy Madison and in the 1998 film Dirty Work. Later that year, Macdonald also voiced the character of Lucky the Dog in the big-screen adaptation of Dr. Dolittle.

He reprised the role in both Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001) and Dr. Dolittle 3 (2006). He then starred in his own sitcom, The Norm Show, from 1999 to 2001.

Macdonald has one son, Dylan, born in 1993.


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