Ora Zella Anderson was the mother of American comedian Louie Anderson. Ora Zella was born on May 27, 1912, in South Dakota to her parents Charles Milton Prouty and Mary Bertha Winders. She married Louis William Anderson in 1931; they were blessed with eleven children, six sons, and five daughters. But according to Louie, his mother gave birth to 16 children, five dying in infancy.
Her husband was an alcoholic and could beat her most of the time when he came home drunk. Despite the nature of her husband, Ora was caring, tolerant, and devoted to her husband and her children
Ora Zella’s son was a standup comedian, game show host, author, and actor. As a comedian, Louie Anderson made his television debut on January 13, 1984, on Young Comedians Special on HBO; he made his network debut on The Tonight Show in November of the same year. In his early years, Louie was also into acting, playing Lou Appleton on Perfect Strangers in 1985.
Besides, Ora’s son also appeared in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and on Showtime. In Coming to America, the producers wanted a white actor, and Eddie Murphy suggested Louie Anderson, saying he was the funniest guy he knew, so Louie was hired to appear in the film.
In the late 1980s, Ora Zella Anderson’s son also starred in The Wrong Guys and on an episode of The Muppets, a television segment on The Jim Henson Hour. In mid- 1990s, Louie Anderson created and produced a series called Life with Louie, based on his childhood with his siblings and parents. The series won two Daytime Emmy Awards.
Louie Anderson was the host of Family Feud from 1999 to 2002, replacing Richard Dawson; he requested Dawson to appear on his first show to give him his blessing, but he declined. After leaving the show in 2002, Anderson was replaced by Richard Karn.
In the early 2000s, Ora’s son appeared on an episode of To Tell the Truth as a panelist on Scrubs, Touched by an Angel, Chicago Hope, and Grace Under Fire. Louie Anderson filmed a standup special, Louie Anderson: Big Baby Boomer; in it, he made fun of his bad habits, aging body, and his pesky family members.
In the last years of his life, Ora Zella Anderson’s son played Christine Baskets on the comedy series Baskets, winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Louie Anderson was also a three-year panelist in the television game show Funny You Should Ask. Anderson was among the few to have appeared on Family Feud as a contestant and host.
Ora Zella Anderson’s Son’s Death
Louie had health issues that preceded his death; in 2003, he had heart issues and underwent two successful heart procedures. In the 2010s, he was diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized in January 2022 for large B-cell lymphoma. Louie died barely a week after his hospitalization due to cancer complications aged 68.
Ora died in 1990, aged 77, in Carson City, Nevada, and was laid to rest at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.