Comedian Ralphie May was found dead Friday morning at a private Las Vegas residence; the 45-year-old had a residency at Harrah's in the city and had performed there Thursday night. Prior to that performance, he had canceled several dates as he struggled with pneumonia for weeks, USA Today reports. May's rep says his cause of death was cardiac arrest.
May "mined his obesity for laughs" as a stand-up comic, as USA Today puts it; he finished second on the first season of NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2003 and from there went on to record multiple stand-up specials for Netflix and Comedy Central. He also toured "almost nonstop," TMZ reports. He had recently won the Casino Comedian of the Year award at the Global Gaming Expo and had just finished his autobiography, This Might Get a Little Heavy, which will be released this spring. Deadline rounds up tweets mourning his loss; other comedians remember him as kind and "real." (Read more celebrity death stories.)