After the celebrity death madness of 2016 we have enjoyed a somewhat tranquil start of the year but unfortunately with today's tragic news of the untimely death of comedian Charlie Murphy, the entertainment world is looking somewhat forlorn again.
Charlie Murphy never truly got the acclaim he deserved, the curse of having such a talented and famous brother in Eddie however he was an accomplished writer, producer and stand up comedian in his own right. It's fair to say that someone with such a famous brother that can still make it out of his shadow and forge his own, memorable career has to have some serious talent. Personally as a fan of his work, especially his appearances with Dave Chapelle and in the classic 2005 caper film Kings Ransom it's a very sad day for me but please have a read of my eulogy and I hope my words to justice to such a revered comedian and writer.
The slightly older brother of Eddie showed comedic talent as a youth however after a spell of delinquency he ended up in jail for 10 months. Upon his release he joined the US navy for 6 years. His discharge in 1983 coincided with his brothers stratospheric rise to fame with him recording his classic show "Delirious". Whilst Eddie made some of the biggest films of the 80s, Charlie was very much a behind the scenes and minor part player and it wasn't until his portrayal as "Gusto" in the 1993 movie CB4 that he got the limelight he deserved.
For the rest of his career he wrote for several movies and perhaps his most successful "Norbit" in which he started with his brother was commercially the best of not critically adored as most of his TV credits were. Perhaps ironically he is best known for his mostly fictitious accounts of being part of Eddie Murphy entourage in the 80s on the Dave Chapelle show sketch Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories. These clips when he recalls the 80s party scene involving many a run in with Rick James and Prince (both portrayed by Chapelle) are surely his most popular work. Perhaps one side of his career that people didn't perhaps know him for was his voice over work. His portrayal as the likeable pimp Jizzy-B in Grand Theft Auto (San Andreas) was memorable and opened him up to a whole new audience of appreciative gamers. Other voiceover credits include Adult Swims "The boondocks" plus various TV commercials and even the dog in his film Norbit. Charlie died of leukaemia just a few short years after losing his wife Tisha Taylor Murphy to cancer and he leaves behind three children but his legacy will live on through his exceptional writing, his voice over work and his few but memorable film roles.