Comedian Ralphie May has died at age 45.
According to TMZ, May died at a private residence in Las Vegas on Friday morning. The outlet states that he had been suffering from pneumonia for the past six weeks, and ultimately died of cardiac arrest.
News of May’s death was confirmed by his reps on his Twitter page, who shared that the comedian’s passing came just two days after winning the Casino Comedian of the Year award at the Global Gaming Expo.
May gained fame in the industry after placing second in the first season of Last Man Standing. He went on to appear in comedy shows like The Wayne Brady Show, The Tonight Show, and the Big Black Comedy Show. He’s since recorded two Netflix specials: Unruly and Imperfectly Yours.
Read on to learn more about Ralphie May’s family.
1. He Has Two Children with Estranged Wife Lahna Turner
In 2005, May married fellow comedian Lahna Turner. Together, the couple has two children: April June May and August James May.
In 2013, May and Turner started a podcast together called Perfect 10. Asked by Las Vegas Weekly in 2013 how the podcast was going, May said, “It’s going great! We love doing it. It’s fun, it’s something different, it’s something that my wife and I get to work on. And I think it’s different than a lot of podcasts. We do a lot of crazy sh*t, and have a lot of fun and it’s a real blast.”
In October 2015, Turner filed for divorce from May after ten years together, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was not finalized at the time of May’s death.
2. May Is the Youngest of Four Children
#tbt to hanging with @stevebyrnelive and @corynchad in San Diego. Fun fact: Steve Bryne carries an iPod of nothing but Oasis music on him at all times and demands it be played in every bar he walks into. This was just before getting him blacked out so we could change it to anything else. Hope you're well, pal.
In 2008, May reflected on his childhood with Arkansas Online. At the time, he was just shy of his 36th birthday. He said, “I had fun growing up in Arkansas. Now that I live in L.A., I dream of traffic being equivalent to a busy day around the malls.” May was the youngest of four children growing up in Clarksville.
3. He Credits His Grandmother with Helping Take Care of Him
May discussed his grandmother in a number of interviews before his death, and credited her with helping take care of him and his siblings as they were growing up. Speaking to the Arkansas Times in 2012, May said:
Thank goodness for my grandmother, she was a hell of a woman. She was really beneficial, she kept us in a stature way above our means and made sure we were taken care of as far as clean clothes and shoes
His Facebook bio also references his grandmother. “When I was a kid, my grandmother taught me how to crochet and how to quilt, and that’s kind of how I do an act. I have one-liners, I have dirty jokes, but I also have long stories that are 10 or 20 minutes long and the laughs come every eight seconds. It’s a different set. And it’s a different life than most people have led.”
4. He Said His Mother and Father ‘Hated Each Other’ in a 2012 Interview
In an interview with the Arkansas Times in 2012, May discussed growing up in Clarksville, shedding light on some of the hardships he faced.
He shared, “It was a hard life growing up. It was a similar story to a lot of people in Arkansas. My mom was a florist. I’m the youngest of four. My father and mother hated each other, and they took it out on us. She’d sue him for not paying child support, then he didn’t pay, and that ended up costing us a lot…”
5. His Wife Sought Sole Physical Custody of Their Children After Filing for Divorce
When May and Turner initially got divorced, Turner sought sole physical and joint legal custody.
Earlier this year, however, TMZ reported that Turner was refusing to let May see his children. They also reported that May was particularly upset because Turner “destroyed their Ketubah”, a Jewish marriage contract. “…Ralphie says she shattered the glass box that held theirs, then stabbed it repeatedly with scissors … right in front of him and their children. In the docs, he also says she ripped photos off the wall and cursed at him.”
In February, TMZ obtained documents from the divorce. In the court docs, Turner allegedly claimed May was “sexually abusive, suicidal, and so drug-addled he can’t be alone with their kids.” She also claimed in the documents that May was physically abusive towards her.