Often, when siblings are in the same industry, competition is expected. But for brothers Charlie and Eddie Murphy, there was nothing but mutual love and respect.
While Eddie became a blockbuster movie star, before his death in 2017 of leukemia at age 57, Charlie made his own mark in Hollywood as an actor and comedian.
At the time of Charlie’s death, he had a net worth of $2.5 million. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to his younger brother, Eddie, whose net worth is currently $200 million. However, Charlie was never bitter about Eddie’s success.
“It was not bittersweet,” he told Howard Stern in a 2004 interview that has recently resurfaced on social media. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my brother. I know my family’s history. We were regular American Black people trying to get ahead. And one of us got ahead.”
“The first time I saw my brother perform the feeling it gave me, I can still feel it to this day,” Murphy said to Stern. “It gives me goosebumps to see how the crowd reacts to him.”
Eddie gained popularity in the 1980s as he starred in “Saturday Night Live” and one-man shows such as “Raw.” Films such as “Trading Place,” “Beverly HiIls Cops I and II” and “Coming to America” solidified Eddie’s fame.
As Eddie’s star grew, Charlie was there to support him as his security guard.
But soon Charlie realized that he had dreams of his own and decided to strike out on his own.
“Being there to support someone else is cool if you’re a troop but I’m a general,” he said in an interview with Metro UK. “I like being out in front. I left shortly after that happened and wrote my first film script.”
Throughout the 1990s, Charlie worked as an actor with roles in movies such as “Mo Betta Blues,” “Harlem Nights,” “CB4,” and “King’s Ransom.” He also co-wrote the screenplay for “Norbit.” Yet he is most famous for appearing on “Chappelle’s Show” in skits entitled “Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Stories,” reenactments of events that happened with stars such as Prince and Rick James during the 1980s. Following the success of appearing on “Chappelle’s Show,” Charlie would host his own standup special on Comedy Central. He also started in an online series, “Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy.”