Anne Beatts, one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live, has died at the age of 74. At this time, no cause of death has been disclosed, according to Deadline. Beatts was responsible for creating some early memorable SNL characters, such as high school nerd Todd DiLaMuca and Lisa Loopner, played by Bill Murray and Gilda Radnor, respectively. Beatts also created one of the show's greatest characters: sleazy salesman Irwin Mainway, portrayed by Dan Aykroyd.
Many have taken to social media to mourn Beatts' death, with actor Dennis Christopher tweeting, "Oh....god this is sad. I was an [Anne Beatts] fan & a friend. We were in the same poetry group: [Poetry In Motion] and I just love her. She made me laugh, cry, think & understand. I miss that time & her voice already." Humor writer Michael Gerber added, "I met Anne Beatts once, at a USC faculty party in 2007. She seemed lovely, and all our mutuals confirmed that. RIP to a tremendous comedy writer, and condolences to Anne’s family, friends and colleagues."
RIP Anne Beatts, the trailblazing and prolific comedy writer and creator who was one of the original staff writers on @nbcsnl. Anne also created SQUARE PEGS, produced A DIFFERENT WORLD, and recently, taught at USC and Chapman.
Thanks for all you shared with us, Anne. pic.twitter.com/9bi9w2Thlq— The Black List (@theblcklst) April 8, 2021
Beatts was never shy when it came to telling the world what her time on SNL was like and in 2009 she spoke during a TV Academy interview she addressed her relationship with the late John Belushi. "I had a complex relationship with Belushi," she shared. "Initially I felt very protective of him and thought of him as this sweet, pussycat guy."
However, she went on to reveal that at some point Belushi became "adversarial" with the women of SNL. She stated that he told the show's creator, Lorne Michaels, that "he should fire the girls." Beatts also claimed that Belushi "refused to be in pieces that we wrote." Even though her friendship with Belushi soured, Beatts admitted that she still considered him to be "a genius."
We are sad to hear about the passing of Anne Beatts, original staff writer on Saturday Night Live (and recently portrayed by the wonderful Natasha Lyonne in 2018’s “A Futile and Stupid Gesture”) She was the first female editor for National Lampoon. May her memory be a blessing ❤️ pic.twitter.com/qgIlZj9YYg— The SNL Struggles Podcast (@strugglespod) April 8, 2021
In addition to her time at Saturday Night Live, Beatts was also the creator of the 1980s CBS sitcom Square Pegs, which starred a young Sarah Jessica Parker. Notably, Beatts actually began her comedy writing career working for National Lampoon magazine. She eventually made history by becoming the first female editor of the iconic magazine.