Comedian Charlie Murphy, Eddie Murphy’s older brother who was best known to many for his recurring roles on “Chappelle’s Show,” died Wednesday after battling leukemia, his publicist confirmed to Rolling Stone. He was 57.
Charlie Murphy once worked security for his kid brother and appeared on the silver screen in Eddie Murphy’s 1989 directorial debut “Harlem Nights,” Rolling Stone said.
But Charlie Murphy came into his own as a comedian in large part thanks to fellow stand-up performer Dave Chappelle, who put him in a recurring comedy skit predicated on tales of Eddie and Charlie Murphy’s backstage misadventures with, among others, Prince and Rick James.
Charlie Murphy had been touring with fellow comedians Cedric “The Entertainer,” Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez in The Comedy Get Down tour.
His fellow comedians shared their memories and condolences on social media.
“I’m heartbroken at the passing of our brother Charlie,” George Lopez wrote on Instagram.
“In relationships you never want to leave anything unsaid, our conversations before shows and after shows we all told each other and Charlie how we felt ! Keep his family in your thoughts and in your prayers and keep a space for Charlie in you’re heart [Expletive] I love you Charlie .#CHARLIEMURPHY”
“Today we lost a #RealOne,” Cedric “The Entertainer” wrote on his Instagram page. “@therealcharliemurphy was a bad man and funny af. He was honest and straight shooter, no BS kinda dude, awesome Father and family man. Had a gregarious laugh that would make you laugh, he stood on his own 2 feet as a man and as a comic even in the shadows of the brother of one of the greatest to have ever done it. Listening to Charlie tell stories of his life was truly one of my greatest past times.”
Charlie Murphy was preceded in death in 2009 by his wife of 12 years, Tisha Taylor Murphy, who died after a battle with cervical cancer, African-American interest website The Root reported. He is survived by two children from that marriage and a third from a prior relationship.