Charlie Murphy, comedian and brother to well-known actor Eddie Murphy, died in a New York City hospital yesterday after a battle with leukemia at the age of 57.
Hours before the news of his death was released, Murphy appeared to be reflecting on the past in his last tweet.
“One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible,” he tweeted on April 11.
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Murphy used Twitter to share personal and inspirational thoughts. In the days before his passing, he reminded his followers to “Rise & Grind: Wake up with the rising sun and seize the day!”
Murphy often started his day with posts that began as “Rise & Grind,” followed by inspiration from himself or other notable people.
Four days ago, Murphy quoted Rocky Balboa: “Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.”
Charlie’s brother, Eddie Murphy, has released a statement on behalf of the Murphy family in which he remembers a “son, brother, father, uncle, and friend” who “filled our family with love.”
“Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle, and friend Charlie. Charlie filled our family with love and laughter, and there won’t be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed. Thank you for the outpouring of condolences and prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of great loss for all of us.”
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Charlie Murphy had just wrapped the annual Comedy Get Down Tour with Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, George Lopez and D.L Hughley.
He was also slated to appear on the TV series Power later this year.
Arguably, some of Murphy’s finest work was as a writer for fellow comedian Dave Chappelle’s Chappelle’s Show, which ran from 2003 to 2006. He would often appear in sketches alongside Chappelle, which earned Murphy a vast following.
One sketch in particular, Charlie Murphy’s Hollywood Stories, was an immense fan favourite.
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It featured Murphy recounting his adventures in the ’80s (along with his famous brother’s entourage) and his interactions with various celebrities from the era, including Rick James and Prince.
The Rick James sketch, in particular, is still quoted in pop culture (“I’m Rick James, b***h!”), and Murphy always insisted that his stories had a basis in reality.
Murphy was born in Brooklyn, New York, and before he went into showbiz served in the U.S. Navy from 1978 to 1983.
Murphy is Eddie Murphy’s only sibling. His wife, Tisha Taylor Murphy, died in 2009 after her own battle with cancer. Murphy leaves behind three children. His management is asking the public for privacy during this difficult time.
—With files from Chris Jancelewicz