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Ralphie May, a comic known for his Southern charm and style, has died, his manager, Judie Marmel, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 45.
May had been battling pneumonia, which forced him to cancel a handful of dates over the last month in an effort to recover. His body was found early Friday morning at a private residence in Las Vegas, Marmel said.
The cause of death is cardiac arrest, she said.
May, whose career in comedy spanned more than two decades, shot to stardom after he finished in second place during the first season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in the early 2000s.
“An acolyte of Sam Kinison, known for blowing up institutional thinking, there was a deep vein of humanity to May’s work, and that love for the fans, his family and the people he worked with defines him as much as any joke or appearance he might have made,” Marmel told THR. “As his manager and his friend, I will miss his laugh, his generosity to fellow comedians, his trademark orneriness, and his enormous love of life. He left us entirely too soon — and we can only wonder where his comedy might have taken all of us. We send our love to his family, his fans, and all the comics who shared stages with him across the country.”
May’s recent credits include appearances on Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer and two 2015 Netflix comedy specials, Ralphie May: Unruly and Ralphie May: Imperfectly Yours.
May is survived by his wife, Lahna Turner, and children April June May and August James May.
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