Influential Comedian and Former 'SNL' Star Norm Macdonald Has Passed Away at 61

Chris Barilla - Author

Sep. 14 2021, Published 3:27 p.m. ET

Norm Macdonald
Source: Getty

Through his iconic role as one of the original "Weekend Update" anchors on Saturday Night Live, comedian Norm Macdonald became a household name across the U.S. Beloved by millions for his quick wit and unique comedic delivery of current events, Norm solidified himself as a respected comedian who would go on to enjoy a long and fruitful career in the industry.

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Sadly, news of his passing broke on Sept. 14, 2021 and fans are still trying to piece together what happened to him. So, what was Norm's cause of death? Keep reading to find out.

Norm Macdonald
Source: Getty
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What was Norm Macdonald's cause of death? He reportedly battled cancer in private for nine years.

News of Norm's death was announced to Deadline during the afternoon of Sept. 14, 2021, by his management firm, Brillstein Entertainment.

The company, alongside Norm's longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, told the publication that the actor had been privately battling cancer for nine years but opted to keep the news of his health struggles out of the public eye.

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

The producer added, "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."

Neither Norm's representatives nor his family have confirmed the specific type of cancer he was battling.

The actor, who was born on Oct. 17, 1959 in Quebec City, began cutting his chops as a comedian in small local comedy clubs. His first big break was an appearance as a contestant on Star Search in 1990, which helped set him up for a role as a writer on Roseanne Barr’s sitcom, Roseanne, from 1992 to 1993. Norm's success on Roseanne landed him the role that would define his career on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Our thoughts are with Norm's family and friends during this difficult time.

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