Charlie Quinton Murphy has died but not before leaving a legacy of comedy. Born in New York on July 12, 1959, Murphy was the older of two brothers. After getting in trouble in his teen years, Murphy spent time in jail before joining the U.S. Navy. By the time he exited the military, his younger brother Eddie was already a household name. Murphy believes that the military made him the man he was before he died and the reason for his life turning around.
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Murphy succumbed to his battle with leukemia. As a stand-up comedian, the actor enjoyed international success. He may not have carried the same high profile as Eddie, but made his own mark in the entertainment industry leaving a legacy of comedy. When questioned about his younger brother’s fame and possible feelings of competition, Murphy said:
All boys are competitive. But are we competitive against one another? No. There is no reason to be. He is my brother. We never really had that going on. I could not be more proud of Eddie.
Initially, Murphy worked as Eddie’s security detail. It was not until 1989 that he made his movie with the historical movie, “Harlem Nights” alongside the “48 Hours” actor. Murphy said his comedic flare has always been natural to him. He was a jokester in his youth and would “rank people out every day.” Murphy had classmates laughing continuously, but at that time did not view himself as a comedian. He was just funny and enjoyed making others laugh.
Murphy had several roles on many of the comedic classics, but became a household legend when he brought to life, Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” on the “Chappelle’s Show.” As in an integral part of Dave Chappelle’s crew, his Prince and Rick James sketches have gone down in history and enhanced his comedic legacy. About that season of his life, the comic said:
The Rick James sketch is my favorite sketch – look what it did for my career!
The man, who many only knew before as Eddie Murphy’s twin-faced brother, lent his comedy to adult animations such as “Black Dynamite” and Aaron McGruder’s “The Boondocks.” He did not stop there. In addition to touring around the globe with fellow comedians, D. L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, and George Lopez, Charlie Murphy became one of the main faces on the McGruder’s hit follow-up, “Black Jesus.”
The series that introduced another side of comedy centered on a “foul-mouthed, weed-smoking Son of God from Compton.” Many crucified the satire as blasphemy, but others viewed it as another level of comedy and kept returning for more. The first season was such a hit with its incredible cast, including the incomparable Murphy, it was renewed for season two and reportedly has season three in the works.
“Black Jesus” captured what some imagine would take place if the Son of God took residence in Compton and gathered a community of followers who were comfortable “smoking, drinking and chilling” with their savior. Murphy played a property owner of an apartment complex and vehemently fought to silence every effort of “Black Jesus” and his tribe. Simply stated, Vic did not believe “Jesus” had anything to do with the Messiah and hated him for perpetrating such a powerful and “untainted” image. Murphy was the character viewers loved to hate.
Unfortunately, the actor died before season three’s release, but not prior to leaving a legacy of comedic genius. In 2009, Murphy’s wife, Tisha Taylor Murphy, preceded him in death after losing the battle to cervical cancer. They had two children together and one from Murphy’s previous relationship. The comedian died at 57-years-old from leukemia. Reportedly, his death came as shock to his family who believed he was getting better. Charlie Murphy has died but leaves a legacy of timeless comedy for fans to enjoy.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
IMDb: Charlie Murphy
Paste: Charlie Murphy Talks Black Jesus, the Comedy Get Down and the Legacy of Rick James
Vulture: Charlie Murphy on Black Jesus Controversy and 10 Years of Hearing About Rick James
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