Hollywood actor Eddie Murphy has paid tribute to his elder brother Charlie Murphy following news of the Chapelle's Show star's tragic passing. The 57-year-old, who was a beloved stand-up comic and had roles on both the small and silver screen, passed away on 12 April after losing his battle with leukaemia.
In a statement to Variety, Murphy expressed the family's grief over his brother's death. "Our hearts are heavy with the loss today of our son, brother, father, uncle and friend Charlie. Charlie filled our family with love and laughter and there won't be a day that goes by that his presence will not be missed," the Trading Places star said.
He added: "Thank you for the outpouring of condolences and prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of great loss for all of us."
Charlie's death was confirmed in a statement from his publicist Domenick Nati, which revealed he had been undergoing chemotherapy and died at a New York City hospital.
The father-of-three made his big screen debut in Harlem Nights, which was directed by Murphy.
The close siblings often collaborated on projects with Murphy also co-writing some of his brother's films, such as Vampire In Brooklyn and Norbit.
Opening up about their relationship in 2009, Eddie insisted that he never felt threatened by his Murphy's astronomical success. "I've never felt like I was living in anyone's shadow," he told Essence magazine. "My life was what it was. I was always proud of my brother. He helped me tremendously, but we're family so we were never in his shadow."
In September 2016, Murphy revealed his admiration for his older brother, telling Variety that he had finally nailed his impression of Charlie after years of practice. "I've been doing him since I was two or three. He was my first impression. I wish he would get famous because people could see this great impression that I do."