Chuy Bravo, who served as Chelsea Handler’s sidekick on her E! talk show Chelsea Lately, died suddenly Saturday night in Mexico City. He was 63. Bravo’s exact cause of death is unknown.
Born Jesus Melgoza in Mexico in 1956, Bravo was the youngest of seven children. The actor/entertainer immigrated to the U.S. at 15, moving to the San Fernando Valley in California before embarking on an acting career in the ’90s. Bravo’s credits included films like The Honeymooners (2005) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007).
His role as Handler’s sidekick on Chelsea Lately gave him increased notoriety. He appeared alongside Handler on the E! late night show from 2007 to 2014, starring in more than 1,000 episodes.
Handler commended 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 said. “I love him!”
In 2012, Bravo shared his battle with prostate cancer with the website Latina; the illness was treated quickly after his diagnosis. He also divulged that he was nearly homeless at one point and that he was a recovering alcoholic. “I have been through a lot in my life, but I’ve overcome my struggles and now I’m finally living my life,” he said.
While recently posting the above picture on Instagram to mark Bravo’s birthday, Handler wrote in part, “Happy Birthday to my OG Nugget @chuybravo… thank you for 8 years of heavy petting.”
The late-night host tweeted about Bravo’s passing Sunday: