Darkness is spreading: Comedian Charlie Murphy dead at 57

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Stand-up comedian and actor Charlie Murphy died today after battling leukemia, according to his publicist.

Murphy was well-known for his appearances on Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show in addition to several film roles. He was also the older brother of actor-comedian Eddie Murphy.

‘Darkness is spreading’

With more than 50 credits to his filmography, Murphy perhaps remains best known playing himself in a recurring Chappelle’s Show skit called, Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood stories.

In the first installment of the sketch, Murphy famously recounts his run-ins with Rick James during the 1980s (see above). Characterizing the flamboyant pop star as a “habitual line-stepper,” Murphy recounts instances of abuse and physical altercation at hands of James (portrayed by Dave Chappelle). According to Murphy, James would refer to him as “Darkness” on account of his dark complexion.

Later, Chappelle Show would feature another installment of CMTHS, this time focusing on an unforgettable night spent at the now-late pop star Prince’s palatial estate.

According to Murphy’s official website, the comedian spent much of the past decade touring as part of various live stand-up comedy shows.

Celebrities react

Although Dave Chappelle’s official Twitter account appears inactive for the past several years, the official Twitter account of the estate of Rick James paid homage to the performer Wednesday afternoon:

Likewise, comedian Chris Rock offered his tribute to the life and work of Murphy:

Chappelle’s Show co-star and comedian Paul Mooney offered a simple farewell:

Murphy himself had issued his final tweet to the world on the eve of what would become his last night on Earth:

About leukemia

According to the National Cancer Institute, leukemia represented an estimated 3.6 percent of all cancer cases in 2016 and accounted for an estimated 4.1 percent of all cancer-related deaths that year. Since 1975, relative survival rates have been increasing from about one-third of all cases to just over 60 percent.

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Josh McBee earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. He has reported and edited for newspapers and other media in Oklahoma, Colorado and California.