Comedian Charlie Murphy, ‘Chappelle's Show' Storyteller, Dies at 57

Chris Rock called him "one of the funniest most real brothers of all time," in a tweet Wednesday

Comedian and actor Charlie Murphy, who stepped out of his brother Eddie's shadow as a talent in his own right, has died at 57, according to his publicist.

Murphy died of leukemia, publicist Domenick Nati told NBC Los Angeles.

Fellow comedian Chris Rock posted a picture of Murphy on Twitter with a message of mourning: "We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time. Charlie Murphy RIP."

Murphy was perhaps best known as an ensemble actor in the comedy "Chappelle's Show," where he told belief-defying stories about spending time with Rick James and Prince. In the recurring segment "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories," Murphy would recount how his brother's fame brought him into the orbit of the biggest stars. His versions of the experiences, played out by him, Chappelle and others, became enduring hits.

He appeared in movies as well, like "Mo' Betta Blues" and "Night at the Museum," and was a writer on the Eddie Murphy movies "Vampire in Brooklyn" and "Norbit." He voiced a role in the animated TV series that includes "The Boondocks" and also appeared in the comedy series "Black Jesus."

Born in New York City, Murphy grew up in a tough household and eventually joined the Navy after a stint in jail, he recalled in a 2011 Esquire interview, eventually taking charge of security for his brother after he'd rocketed to fame.

"I was Eddie Murphy's brother, and he'd already achieved notoriety in comedy, and people started asking me to try it out," Murphy said. "I did, and ever since that first day, I've never stopped. I can't really count three weeks in a row where I wasn't doing it onstage."

He had an apparent gift for storytelling. At a 2012 comedy special paying homage to his younger brother, Murphy recalled always losing to Eddie in insult contests.

"When he was 8 years old, he was already telling world-class jokes — about me," Murphy recalled . "He told me my nose looks like an upside-down black power symbol. That jokes still works to this very day."

His Facebook and Twitter accounts have, of late, been full of short, inspirational messages, including this from Tuesday: "One to Sleep On: Release the past to rest as deeply as possible."

TMZ first reported on Murphy's death, citing Murphy's manager.

DL Hughley, who toured with Murphy and other comedians recently, tweeted: "After every gig, he rushed home to be with his kids. He died with gigs on the books."

Murphy's feature films include "Our Family Wedding," ''King's Ransom" and "CB4."

He is credited with appearances to air later this year on the Starz TV drama series "Power."

"He joined 'Power' for our upcoming season, and his talent shines in every scene," the channel said in a statement.

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