Charlie Murphy, comedian and brother to well-known actor Eddie Murphy, has died in a New York City hospital after a battle with leukemia, his manager confirmed Wednesday. He was 57, and the death was “unexpected,” according to his rep.
Murphy was undergoing chemotherapy at the time of his death.
Arguably, some of Murphy’s finest work was as a writer for fellow comedian Dave Chappelle‘s Chappelle’s Show, which ran from 2003 to 2006. He would often appear in sketches alongside Chappelle, which earned Murphy a vast following.
One sketch in particular, Charlie Murphy’s Hollywood Stories, was an immense fan favourite.
It featured Murphy recounting his adventures in the ’80s (along with his famous brother’s entourage) and his interactions with various celebrities from the era, including Rick James and Prince.
The Rick James sketch in particular is still quoted in pop culture (“I’m Rick James, b***h!”), and Murphy always insisted that his stories had a basis in reality.
Aside from his lengthy touring career as a stand-up comic, Murphy also appeared in various TV shows and movies, including Are We There Yet? and The Boondocks. He worked behind the camera with his brother on many of his films, as well.
He most recently starred in Adult Swim’s Black Jesus.
Notable celebrities were shocked by Murphy’s sudden passing, including Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Ice Cube and other members of the acting and comedy community.
Wow….This is crazy. All I can say is RIP. Thank you for not only being a friend but for believing in me when I was young in this comedy game. Charlie Murphy did the rewrite for the first movie that I ever did called "Paper Soldiers"….His stories were legendary & unbelievable & heartfelt. I'm lucky to have know you and I'm even luckier to be able to say that I was a friend. You will be missed man. #RIPCharlieMurphy
Don't need a jet plane when you have a seat at Gods table. RIP Brother Charlie Murphy. pic.twitter.com/SZFgVuYoy4
— Eddie Griffin (@EddieGriffinCom) April 12, 2017
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) April 12, 2017
Damn, sorry to hear about my friend Charlie Murphy. He took a chance on a young director in The Player's Club. Always made me laugh. RIP pic.twitter.com/yChjFtSDH4
— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 12, 2017
Charlie Murphy was such a kind, sweet, funny man. Damn. Incredible talent, even better man. RIP ❤
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) April 12, 2017
We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time . Charlie Murphy RIP. pic.twitter.com/AAwItp5AJC
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) April 12, 2017
— Mike Epps (@TheRealMikeEpps) April 12, 2017
A story from Charlie Murphy. Rest in peace, Sir. pic.twitter.com/GmR3RL7o9Z
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) April 12, 2017
— CedricTheEntertainer (@CedEntertainer) April 12, 2017
Murphy was born in Brooklyn, New York, and before he went into showbiz served in the U.S. Navy from 1978 to 1983.
Murphy is Eddie Murphy’s only sibling. His wife, Tisha Taylor Murphy, died in 2009 after her own battle with cancer. Murphy leaves behind three children. His management is asking the public for privacy during this difficult time.
As of this writing, Eddie Murphy has not commented on his brother’s passing.