Stand-up comic Ralphie May, who starred in a bevy of memorable comedy specials over the years, has died at 45.
May died Friday in a private residence in Las Vegas after going into cardiac arrest, his rep confirmed to the Daily News.
“We are heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our friend, Ralphie May,” his publicist said in a statement. “Ralphie had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month in an effort to recover. Earlier this morning at a private residence in Las Vegas his body was discovered.”
May had a series of performances remaining on his 2017 schedule as part of a Las Vegas residency at Harrah’s. He most recently performed there on Thursday night.
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May rose to fame in 2003 as a competitor on the very first season of “Last Comic Standing,” finishing second behind Dat Phan.
He went on to book gigs on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Wayne Brady Show,” while churning out stand-up specials for Comedy Central and later Netflix. He starred in his first Comedy Central special, “Girth of a Nation,” in 2006, before releasing “Prime Cut” (2007), “Austin-tatious” (2008) and “Too Big to Ignore” (2012) in subsequent years.
Both of his Netflix specials, “Unruly” and “Imperfectly Yours,” premiered in 2015.
Earlier this week, May was named the Casino Comedian of the Year at the Global Gaming Expo.
May was fondly remembered by many members of the comedy community who posted tributes to social media after news of his death emerged.
“Woa… man.. this sucks,” Dane Cook tweeted Friday. “Ralphie was a good guy & very funny person. Condolences to his family and fans.”
Gabriel Iglesias shared his heartbreak after learning of the loss of his friend as well.
“I’m at a loss for words to hear about the passing of comedian Ralfie May,” he tweeted. “He was a friend to many and a father of 2 beautiful children. RIP.”
May is survived by his wife Lahna Turner, whom he separated from in 2015, as well as his daughter April June and son August James.