Comedian and legendary storyteller Charlie Murphy has reportedly passed away at age 57 following a battle with leukemia.
According to TMZ, Murphy's manager has confirmed he passed away in a New York City hospital due to complications from the deadly cancer. He had previously been undergoing chemo treatment to fight the illness. His brother Eddie released a short statement thanking people "for the outpouring of condolences and prayers."
Charlie Murphy appeared in minor acting roles in films throughout the 1980s and ’90s. His star rose the highest after breakout performances as a storyteller on Chappelle's Show. The elder Murphy brother garnered widespread acclaim for his retelling of stories involving music stars Rick James and Prince. His graphic, no-holds barred approach to sharing these stories introduced him to a new generation of fans.
After Dave Chappelle took his (eventually permanent) hiatus from the show, Murphy filled in as the host of "The Lost Episodes" alongside fellow Chappelle's Show alum Donnell Rawlings. He appeared frequently as a character in sketches for the show, most notably as fictional pimp Buc Nasty in the "Player Hater's Ball" sketch:
Though he was best known for those iconic performances on Chappelle's Show, Murphy's raunchy humor and gravely voice found a home all around the world of comedy. He was the voice of Ed Wuncler III on The Boondocks, a loose parody of former President George W. Bush, and made appearances on shows such as Comedy Central's Black Jesus and as a voiceover artist in video games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Murphy was set to make his next stand-up performance at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan in mid-May.
Many of his colleagues and friends have offered their condolences online, which you view below.
Just came out of meditation and learned that one of my friends and my biggest comedy idol passed. Damn I loved Charlie Murphy ❤❤❤❤🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) April 12, 2017