Once again, the 2016 celebrity death toll increases with the addition of talented actor and comedian Ricky Harris, who died Monday, Dec. 26. According to his manager, Harris suffered a heart attack two years ago, but the immediate cause of his death is unknown at this time. Harris was found by his mother at 2 a.m. on Monday, passed out and was unresponsive when medics arrived.
Harris was well known in the comedy world and appeared on the hit program “Def Comedy Jam” in the early ’90s. Harris first appeared on the big screen in the 1993 movie Poetic Justice alongside music icons Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. He was well known on the comedy club circuit and was childhood friends with rap legend Snoop Dogg. The pair even sang in the church choir in their hometown of Long Beach, California.
Harris went on to play roles in other movies that include Heat (1995), Hard Rain (1998) and Bones (2001), where he played the role of Eddie Mack alongside Snoop Dogg. Harris was also featured doing characters in skits on various rap albums. Harris was a familiar face on family-friendly TV shows that included “Moesha” and “The Tracey Morgan Show.” Perhaps his best-known role was on the hit television show “Everybody Hates Chris” in the role of Malvo. Last year, Harris appeared in the comedy-drama Dope in the role of Tannehill James. Harris is survived by his mother, his ex-wife and two daughters.
Friends of Harris posted their condolences on Twitter:
“RickyHARRIS got 1st light from @icecube @SIRJINX & US doin voices on AmerikkasMostWanted. We were all in resPEct to his ability. Tough year-” Chuck D@MrChuckD
“Devastated!!! #RIP to the One and Only #RickyHarris Always been a super solid dude” –Cedric the Entertainer- @CedEntertainer
His friend Snoop Dogg posted a video tribute on Instagram calling Harris “My big brother, my homeboy” and a “Long Beach original” — saying that he was “on his way to heaven now.”