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Former ‘SNL’ Anchor Norm MacDonald Passes Away at 61 after a Long Battle with Cancer

Afouda Bamidele
Sep 18, 2021
03:50 A.M.
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September 14, 2021, will remain in the hearts of all "SNL" members and fans as former "SNL" weekend update anchor Norm MacDonald passed away at 61. The comedian died after 9 years of fighting cancer.

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Former "SNL" anchor Norm MacDonald, famous for his unique delivery, passed away after a long struggle with cancer. The comedian died at 61, and his death was confirmed by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment.

Following MacDonald's passing, his friend and producing partner Lori Jo Hoekstra revealed the star kept his health condition a secret. According to Hoekstra, he didn't want his health to affect how he was viewed.

A portrait of Norm MacDonald smiling during anchoring duties | Photo: Getty Images

A portrait of Norm MacDonald smiling during anchoring duties | Photo: Getty Images

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A LOOK AT MACDONALD

MacDonald, who once noted that jokes should catch one by surprise, sure had various startling marks. Born on October 17, 1959, in Quebec City, he was one of the most influential cast members of "SNL."

He moved away from Chevy Chase's slapstick approach, bringing to life a more political style. After five years on "Saturday Night Live," MacDonald started his own comedy series from 1999-2001.

Comedian Norm MacDonald posed for a portrait while preparing to perform at Carolines on November 13, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

Comedian Norm MacDonald posed for a portrait while preparing to perform at Carolines on November 13, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

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His hilarious character also moved on to TV commercials playing Colonel Sanders for KFC. He made appearances on shows, including "Conan" and "Late Night with David Letterman." He also appeared on Netflix's "Girl Boss" and ABC's "The Middle."

[MacDonald] won $500,000 for his charity on the celebrity version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in 1999.

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MORE OF MACDONALD

In the late comedian's 2016 memoir, he reflected on his career journey. Believing fans might assume anyone who didn't make it out of "SNL" a superstar was bitter, MacDonald noted that it was "impossible to be bitter," and described himself as being lucky.

MacDonald explained that he felt he couldn't have moved beyond Moose Creek, Ontario, Canada as a child. He also noted that he didn't expect to be "more than a common laborer."

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The late actor remembered his time before fame. According to MacDonald, while he wasn't a public figure, people looked past him or looked at him with disgust. But with fame came warm greetings and appreciation from a once cold world.

A FEW FACTS ABOUT MACDONALD

Although MacDonald is famous worldwide, there are still some things fans might not know about the stand-up comedian. MacDonald was quite hardworking that he didn't quit his job even with his struggle with cancer.

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The star was the voice behind Pigeon, a character on the animated series "Mike Tyson Mysteries." During the early times of the pandemic, he was pretty active on social media, posting several updates.

MacDonald participated in some entertaining clips featuring Chevy Chase and Bob Saget. His last social media update showed a burger and fries image with a caption that insinuated burger was served better with Pepsi.

Born Norman Gene MacDonald, he is 6 feet 2 inches tall. Over the years, he starred in movies including "Dirty Work" in 1998, "Doctor Dolittle" and "Billy Madison" in 1995.

He was also on the 2000-2017 animated series "Family Guy" and 2018's "The Ladybug." He won $500,000 for his charity on the celebrity version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in 1999.

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