Comedian, writer and actor Charlie Murphy, the older brother of comedian Eddie Murphy, has passed away after a long battle with Leukemia. He was 57.
Murphy, whose life story took him from jail to the Navy and then to both the big and small screens, first became nationally known for his contributions to Chappelle’s Show, for which he both wrote and performed. He was notorious for Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories, a hugely-popular series of sketches that he both wrote and starred in, which depicted his encounters with celebrities like Rick James and Prince during the 80’s. After Chappelle left the show in 2005, Murphy (along with cast member Donnell Rawlings) briefly took over hosting duties for the show’s truncated third season.
Since the demise of Chappelle’s Show, Murphy has had a hand in various forms of media, from voiceover work for projects like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Star Trek 2.0, and Adult Swim’s The Boondocks, to live action comedy like his roles in Black Jesus, Are We There Yet?, and his Crackle sketch comedy show, Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy.
While Murphy had been sick for some time, family sources told TMZ that his death comes as a shock, as the comedian’s condition had reportedly been improving prior to his passing this morning. He had been receiving chemotherapy at a New York City hospital. Murphy, whose wife Tisha Taylor Murphy passed away from cervical cancer in 2009, is survived by his three children.