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.
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:
Rest in peace, Charlie Murphy. Your legend will live on forever. #CharlieMurphy#Legendpic.twitter.com/JFz7oYTi30
— Rick James (@RickJames) April 12, 2017
Likewise, comedian Chris Rock offered his tribute to the life and work of Murphy:
We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time . Charlie Murphy RIP. pic.twitter.com/AAwItp5AJC
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) April 12, 2017
Chappelle’s Show co-star and comedian Paul Mooney offered a simple farewell:
Terribly saddened … Charlie
— Paul Mooney (@PaulEalyMooney) April 12, 2017
Murphy himself had issued his final tweet to the world on the eve of what would become his last night on Earth:
One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible.
— Charlie Murphy (@charliemurphy) April 12, 2017
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.