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Comedian and former ‘SNL’ cast member Norm Macdonald dead at 61

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(Gray News) - Comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Norm Macdonald died Tuesday after a nine-year battle with cancer, Deadline reported.

Macdonald, 61, was scheduled to be in the New York Comedy Festival lineup in November.

In a statement to Deadline, his producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra said he had kept his cancer diagnosis private from family, friends and fans.

“He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him,” Hoeksta said in the statement. “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 was on “Saturday Night Live” from 1993 to 1998. During his time on the show, he appeared as the Weekend Update anchor and wrote the first “Celebrity Jeopardy skit, also appearing as Burt Reynolds.

He starred in films including “Dirty Work” and had supporting roles in several more including “Billy Madison” and other Adam Sandler films. He also voiced Lucky the dog in the “Dr. Doolittle” movies and an alien on the TV show “The Orville.”

He got his break in TV as a writer on “The Dennis Miller Show” and “Roseanne” after finding success as a standup comedian. Following “SNL,” he starred in several shows, with lead roles in “The Norm Show” and “A Minute with Stan Hooper.”

Other recent work was a standup special in 2017 and the talk show “Norm Macdonald Has a Show” in 2018, both on Netflix.

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Associated Press

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