Patrice O'Neal, a fixture in the New York comedy scene for two decades who was most recently seen in the Comedy Central Roast Of Charlie Sheen, has passed away according to sources close to the comedian.
Talk show host Opie of the Opie & Anthony Radio Show tweeted this morning, "Yes, it's true that our pal Patrice O'Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker I've ever known PERIOD."
O'Neal suffered a stroke in October after a long battle with diabetes. The announcement about his condition was made by a group of his friends and peers on the popular Sirius radio show, but few details have been made known since then at the wishes of his family.
Update: 2:40 p.m.
O'Neal's manager Matt Frost released this statement Tuesday afternoon:
It is with terrible sadness we must report that Patrice O'Neal has passed away this morning at 7:00am due to the complications of the stroke he suffered on October 19. Many of us have lost a close and loved friend; all of us have lost a true comic genius. His mother, who was also his best friend, was at his side. Patrice is survived by his wife, Vondecarlo; his step daughter Aymilyon, sister Zinder, and his mother Georgia. The family wishes to thank all of the fans and friends who have expressed an outpouring of love and support for Patrice these past weeks. We ask that you please respect the family's request for privacy at this difficult time.
As news of O'Neal's passing spread, friends and admirers began tweeting messages of love and posted favorite videos and photos. We've gathered some of them here.
O'Neal was best known for his darkly playful sense of humor and for saying exactly what was on his mind. While O'Neal was a polarizing voice who was often as disliked as much as he was beloved, he was revered by peers and audiences alike for his fearlessness, a characteristic that was in bold relief during the Sheen Roast.
O'Neal spoke with Huffington Post following the taping back in September: