Charlie Murphy, a comedian and writer who turned his Hollywood adventures with brother Eddie Murphy into some of the most popular bits of Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show, died of leukemia Wednesday in New York. He was 57.
“Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie,” the Murphy family said in a statement. “Charlie filled our family with love and laughter and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed. Thank you for the outpouring of condolences and prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of great loss for all of us.”
Although he had small roles in such films as Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, CB4 and Norbit, the stand-up comic and screenwriter (Norbit, Vampire in Brooklyn) mined his experiences as part of brother Eddie’s entourage for the recurring Chappelle’s Show bit called “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories.” In one, Chappelle introduced his wildly popular Rick James impression, face-slapping Murphy for no apparent reason (both Murphy and James said the incident was true). In another, Murphy recounted a basketball game with Prince.
Murphy’s wife, Tisha Taylor Murphy, died from cancer in 2009. He’s survived by three children and his brother.
Charlie Murphy himself tweeted this just yesterday: