Just over a week after actress and comedian Chelsea Handler paid tribute to him in a touching post on Instagram in honor of his birthday on December 7th, Chuy Bravo has died at 63.
“Happy Birthday to my OG Nugget @chuybravo. I love this picture because–not only does it look like Chuy just launched out of my peekachu, I look like a member of ZZ Top. Happy birthday Chuy, and thank you for 8 years of heavy petting,” Handler wrote.
According to ET: Bravo was born Jesus Melgoza in Tangancicuaro, Michoacán, Mexico, in 1956. He was the youngest of seven children, and immigrated to the United States at age 15, moving to the San Fernando Valley.
He began acting in the early 1990s, and had credits in films like The Honeymooners in 2005 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in 2007. It was his appearance as Handler’s sidekick on Chelsea Lately, however, that made him a star. He appeared on the E! late night talk show from 2007 to 2014.
Handler praised Bravo in a 2007 interview with ET. “The worst part of doing the show is that I have to work five days a week, which I’m not accustomed to. I’m a stand-up comedian, so I usually would work twice a week and it’s for like, an hour. The best part is that Chuy and I get to spend every day together,” she shared. “I love him!”
In an interview with Latina magazine in 2012 Bravo said, he’d survived prostate cancer, which was treated quickly after it was diagnosed. He also shared that he was a recovering alcoholic and was nearly homeless at one point in his life. “I have been through a lot in my life, but I’ve overcome my struggles and now I’m finally living my life.”
Rest in power, Chuy.