Comedian, Patrice O’Neal, who roasted Charlie Sheen, died Tuesday from complications of a stroke he suffered last month. O’Neal’s manager, Jonathan Brandstein, said he died at a New York-area hospital.
Patrice O’Neal, 41, was a veteran stand-up comic who gained a wider following through TV and radio. O’Neal grew up in Boston and started his stand-up career there. He boisterously took on controversial topics like race, AIDS and his own struggle with diabetes in his live performances. He was loud and unpredictable, frequently veering away from prepared material with a curse-laden segue.
He appeared on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman’s late-night TV shows and was a frequent guest on the “Opie & Anthony” radio show on Sirius XM. His first hourlong special, “Elephant in the Room,” debuted on Comedy Central last February. O’Neal had half-hour specials on Showtime and HBO and was the host of “Web Junk 20.” He also acted in the TV series “Arrested Development”. Chapelle’s Show” and “The Office.”
O’Neal, who was 6 feet 5, weighed about 300 pounds and had diabetes suffered a stroke Oct. 19, 2011. Diabetes is a significant risk factor for stroke,according to the National Stroke Association. Other risk factors include obesity, atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure — which, according to the association, “is one of the most common causes of stroke because it puts unnecessary stress on blood vessel walls, causing them to thicken and deteriorate.” When that happens, “cholesterol or other fat-like substances may break off of artery walls and block a brain artery.”
“Strokes are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second-leading cause of death in the world — so it happens to a lot of people,” said Dr. John M. Kennedy, director of Preventive Cardiology and Wellness at Marina Del Rey Hospital.