In April 2001, Berle announced that he was suffering from a cancerous tumor in his colon, but would not undergo surgery. At the time of the announcement, Berle's wife said the tumor was growing so slowly that it would take ten to twelve years to affect him in any significant or life-threatening way. Less than one year after the announcement, Berle died on March 27, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.
Berle left detailed arrangements to be buried with his third wife, Ruth at Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Burbank. His fourth and last wife, Lorna Adams, altered the plan so that he was cremated and interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California. In addition to his wife, Berle was survived by a daughter, Victoria, born in 1945; son, William, born in 1961; and Bob Williams, a son, born in 1951.