The world of comedy is mourning the loss of Patrice O’Neal today, who died Tuesday morning of complications from a diabetes-related stroke he had last month.
O’Neal was just 41 years old. He was born in Boston, but his efforts to break into comedy took him to Los Angeles, the United Kingdom and New York City.
He was well-known for his successful career in stand-up comedy and appearances on Comedy Central and the radio program Opie and Anthony. Social networking sites are abuzz as both fans and celebrities pay their respects to one of comedy’s biggest names today.
On Patrice O’Neal’s official Facebook page, one fan wrote, “RIP Patrice. You gave me the gift of laughter. Your legacy will live on.”
Another wrote, “You spoke the truth about relationships and other relevant topics and made them funny. Enjoyed you in life, see you on the other side.”
Those who worked with O’Neal are also mourning his loss today.
“I started my career w/ Patrice O’Neal. He was 1 of the best ever. Fond memories of road gigs, late night eats & laughs,” tweeted Dane Cook, who also posted a photo of himself with O’Neal.
Charlie Sheen, who was the butt of many of O’Neal’s jokes during his Comedy Central roast, posted a tribute on his WhoSay page: “Patrice had that rare ‘light’ around him and inside of him. I only knew him for the few days leading up to the Roast. Yet I will forever be inspired by his nobility, his grace and his epic talent. My tears today are for the tremendous loss to his true friends and loving family.”
Here are five of our favorite moments from Patrice O’Neal’s too-short career. What are yours?