Charlie Murphy, respected stand-up comedian, actor, and brother of Eddie Murphy, died Wednesday at age 57 after battling leukemia, Murphy's manager confirmed to Rolling Stone.
“We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time,” tweeted Chris Rock, who co-starred with Murphy in the film CB4.
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
“His stories were legendary & unbelievable & heartfelt,” Kevin Hart posted to Instagram. “I'm lucky to have know you and I'm even luckier to be able to say that I was a friend. You will be missed man.”
Wow....This is crazy. All I can say is RIP. Thank you for not only being a friend but for believing in me when I was young in this comedy game. Charlie Murphy did the rewrite for the first movie that I ever did called "Paper Soldiers"....His stories were legendary & unbelievable & heartfelt. I'm lucky to have know you and I'm even luckier to be able to say that I was a friend. You will be missed man. #RIPCharlieMurphy
Starting out as his brother Eddie’s bodyguard, Murphy eventually stepped in front of the camera in his bother’s 1989 comedy Harlem Nights, garnering the interest of directors like Spike Lee. Though he booked a number of cameos, Murphy’s true storytelling talents were not tapped until later, when he became a cast member on Chappelle’s Show.
It was during that show that Dave Chappelle got the idea to create “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” where Murphy would share the legendary tales he'd amassed while doing security for his brother, the most popular of which involved stories about Prince and R&B singer Rick James. The segments were arguably the most popular of the Chappelle's Show skits, and James’ on-camera denial (and weird back-pedaling) of the incidents only made them more buzzed about.
Once Chappelle’s Show ended, Charlie took his newfound notoriety and hit the stand-up comedy circuit to share his stories, drawing acclaim from both the public and other comedians.
Here's Murphy on Chappelle's Show telling his most famous story, about a run-in with Prince that involved basketball and, later, pancakes.