Patrice O'Neal dead at 41; comic had suffered a stroke in October
Comedian Patrice O'Neal died Tuesday morning from complications of a stroke he suffered on Oct. 19. "Many of us have lost a close and loved friend," his rep said in confirming the news. "All of us have lost a true comic genius."
The veteran New York-based stand-up comic was 41.
O'Neal was a familiar face on Comedy Central -- getting a lot of attention during his ribald turn (that means watch out for the cuss words if you click) on "The Roast of Charlie Sheen" in September -- as well as a frequent guest on the "Opie & Anthony" radio show.
The radio show broke the news in late October that O'Neal, a diabetic, had suffered a stroke the previous week.
"One of a kind. In heaven right now, charming half and infuriating half, then reversing," tweeted Colin Quinn, host of Comedy Central's defunct "Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn," which had regularly featured O'Neal.
Fellow comic and close friend Jim Norton posted a picture of himself and O'Neal online Tuesday, captioning it, "I couldn't possibly love a friend more than I love you. Goodbye brother."
"Yes it's true that our pal Patrice O'Neal has passed away," Opie and Anthony said via Twitter. "The funniest and best thinker i've ever known PERIOD. #devastated." The show posted a video link on its Facebook page, sending people to what they called O'Neal's "greatest laugh ever."
The 6-foot-5 O'Neal reportedly got his first taste of stand-up at Estelle's in Boston when he was heckling a comic who then invited him to come onstage and see if he could better. "The following week he went on stage at Estelle's and brought down the house," according to his Comedy Central bio.
His final performance was at the Charlie Sheen roast.
"Patrice had that rare 'light' around him and inside of him," the actor said Tuesday via Twitter. "I only knew him for the few days leading up 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."
O'Neal is survived by his wife Vondecarlo, stepdaughter Aymilyon, sister Zinder and mother Georgia, his rep told TMZ.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Reuters contributed to this report.
Photo: Comedian Patrice O'Neal arrives at Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen held at Sony Studios in L.A. on Sept. 10. O'Neal died Tuesday at age 41. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images