By G9ija

Popular stand-up comedian, Norm Macdonald, died on Tuesday after a nine-year private battle with cancer.

Per Deadline, the Canadian celebrity’s death at 61 was announced by his management firm, Brillstein Entertainment.

According to the comedian’s close friend, Lori Jo Hoekstra, the deceased 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 in Quebec City, Macdonald started his show business career in the comedy clubs of Canada, developing the deadpan style that would become both his trademark and a highly influential touchstone for a generation of comics.