Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, who co-starred on the MTV reality series Rob & Big and later appeared on Rob Dyrdek’s follow-up series, died today of a heart attack, his manager said. He was 45.

“MTV is deeply saddened to learn the news of Christopher ‘Big Black’ Boykin’s passing,” an MTV spokesman said in a statement. “He was a longtime and beloved member of the MTV family and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time.”

MTV

Boykin was the best pal and bodyguard of pro skateboarder Dyrdek, and together they created, wrote, produced and starred in the 2006-08 series that followed their daily lives, which included adoption a mini horse — called Mini Horse — and a bulldog named Meaty. The show aired from 2006-08 on MTV, and the pair shared a Teen Choice Awards nomination for Choice TV Male Reality/Variety Star in 2008. During the show’s run, he also appeared on late-night talks shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Last Call with Carson Daly.

The 6-foot-6 Boykin went on to appear on his friend’s follow-up MTV series Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and Ridiculousness. He also ran a clothing line called Big Black.

Survivors include a young daughter.

In a series of tweets, Dyrdek remembered his friend: