We’re sorry to report that actor, writer, and comedian Charlie Murphy, the older brother of Eddie Murphy, has passed away from leukemia. He was 57-years-old, at the time of his death.
Murphy was born July 12, 1959. His mother was a telephone operator and his father was a transit police officer – as well as an amateur actor and comedian. After serving a 10 month sentence in jail as a teenager, Murphy joined the Navy and worked as a Boiler Technician for six years.
After leaving the Navy, Murphy began working as an actor, making his film debut in Harlem Nights as the Muffin Man. He continued to play small roles in film and TV for a few years before getting his first large role in CB4 in 1993. He followed that up with such films as The Players Club and Paper Soldiers (which he co-wrote) before landing his most famous job – as a writer and performer on Chappelle’s Show.
Murphy made 8 appearances on Chappelle’s Show. On the show, Murphy was featured in a segment called ‘Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories’, revolving around misadventures that he had experienced in the 1980s (while a part of brother Eddie’s entourage would be acted out). Many of these involved celebrities such as Prince and Rick James. Murphy also co-hosted the “lost episodes” that were made up of already-filmed sketches, after host Dave Chappelle abruptly left the show.
Murphy continued to act steadily after Chapelle’s Show ended, with roles in the films King’s Ransom, Night at the Museum, and Universal Remote. He also co wrote two movies with brother Eddie, A Vampire in Brooklyn and Norbit – the latter of which he also voiced the character of Lloyd for. He worked more in TV than film over the last few years, but did appear in 2016’s Meet the Blacks.
On television, Murphy appeared in Are We There Yet? and Black Jesus. He filmed several episode for the fourth season of the series Power, which aired back in January. He also has worked frequently in voiceover, voicing characters on The Boondocks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Black Dynamite. His voiceover work has not been limited to TV, he also provided the voice for the character of Jizzy B. for the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Outside of acting, Murphy’s also worked a little bit in the music business, with half-brother Vernon Lynch, Jr.’s hip hop duo K-9 Posse (the other member is Wardell Mahone). Murphy executive produced their debut album, wrote two songs, and appeared in the music video for the group’s first single.
A widower since 1997, Murphy leaves behind three children. He will be missed.