Comedian, writer, and actor Charlie Murphy has died at age 57 after a battle with leukemia.
The brother of Eddie Murphy and a popular comedian in his own right who wrote for Dave Chappelle’s hit sketch-comedy series Chappelle’s Show, Murphy died in a New York City hospital Wednesday. He had reportedly been diagnosed with leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy.
A veteran actor who first appeared in 1989’s Harlem Nights as a minor character, then played his first featured role in 1993’s CB4, Murphy achieved his highest profile while working on Chappelle’s Show. As part of a recurring segment on the show titled “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” he would describe his adventures — or misadventures, in many cases — with various celebrities over the years while he was out with his brother.
One of the most famous of these sketches involved Murphy’s tale of an encounter with the late musician Prince, who he became close friends with later in life. In the skit, Murphy describes the experience of losing to Prince in a basketball game while Chappelle portrays the musician in a re-enactment of the story.
Murphy also co-wrote two of Eddie Murphy’s films, 1995’s Vampire in Brooklyn and 2007’s Norbit.
He starred in his own comedy series, Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy, on Crackle, and in his own stand-up special, Charlie Murphy: I Will Not Apologize, on Comedy Central. His stand-up comedy special premiered in February 2010.
Along with a long list of one-off roles and guest appearances in various series, Murphy also had recurring roles in several shows over the years, including Cartoon Network’s animated series The Boondocks, the live-action Adult Swim series Black Jesus, the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet?, and, recently, the Starz crime drama Power.
Most recently, Murphy had been touring with fellow comedians Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, George Lopez, and D.L. Hughley on The Comedy Get Down Tour.
Murphy’s death was first reported by TMZ.