Charlie Murphy, the older brother of Eddie Murphy and a comic performer in his own right who acted in movies and turned encounters with celebrities into memorable sketches on “Chappelle’s Show,” died April 12 in New York. He was 57.
The cause was leukemia, said his representative, Domenick Nati.
Mr. Murphy was perhaps best known for his appearances on Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Central show from 2003 to 2006. In the recurring segment “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” he would recount how his brother’s fame brought him into the orbit of some of the biggest stars in show business. His versions of the experiences became comic favorites.
In one sketch by Mr. Murphy, he portrayed singer Rick James (played by Chappelle) as an impulsive bigmouth who keeps spouting, “I’m Rick James, (expletive)!” In another skit, Prince is at first mocked for his frilly shirt but then shows his slick moves on the basketball court. The music legend then serves everyone pancakes.
“Who the (expletive) could make up” those events, Mr. Murphy asked at the end of the sketch.
Charles Quinton Murphy was born July 12, 1959, in Brooklyn and was two years older than his brother. He served in the Navy for six years before following his brother into show business.
In addition to being a stand-up comedian and television actor, Mr. Murphy had roles in more than 25 films, including Spike Lee’s “Mo’ Better Blues” (1990) and “Jungle Fever” (1991), as well as “CB4” (1993), “King’s Ransom” (2005) and “Night at the Museum” (2006).
He received screenwriting credits on several films, including “Vampire in Brooklyn” (1995) and “Norbit” (2007), which starred his brother. He also appeared in the comedy series “Black Jesus” and had numerous voice-over parts, including in “Norbit” and the animated TV series “The Boondocks.”
Mr. Murphy had a Web series, “Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy,” in 2009 and a Comedy Central stand-up special, “Charlie Murphy: I Will Not Apologize,” in 2010.
His wife of 12 years, Tisha Taylor Murphy, died in 2009. In addition to his brother, survivors include three children and a half brother, musician and TV producer Vernon Lynch Jr.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Charlie Murphy portrayed singer Rick James in a comedy sketch. He was portrayed by Dave Chappelle.
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