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‘Comic warrior’ Ralphie May dead at 45

Comedian Ralphie May performs at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. May died at age 45 on Oct. 6. | John Davisson/Invision/AP, File

Comedian Ralphie May died Friday at the age of 45, drawing an outpouring of tributes from fellow stand-up comics, who remembered him as a “funny man,” a “sweetheart of a guy” and a “comic warrior.”

“Wow …. I was just told that Ralphie May passed,” Kevin Hart tweeted. “I’m truly saddened by this. He was a good dude. Heaven just got another funny angel RIP man.”

The Chattanooga, Tennessee-born comic’s death was reported on his Facebook page.

“We are heartbroken to announce the untimely death of our friend, Ralphie May,” the post read. “Ralphie had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month in an effort to recover. Earlier this morning at a private residence in Las Vegas his body was discovered, cause of death is cardiac arrest.”

Word of the popular comedian’s death drew tributes from all sides of the comedy world.

“Oh man fellow comedian and friend Ralphie May just died,” tweeted Larry the Cable Guy. “So crazy. RIP Ralphie. You my friend were one of the nicest and kindest out there.”

Comedian Marc Maron tweeted: “Damn. RIP Ralphie May. Comic warrior.”

May got his big break on  “Last Comic Standing” in 2003, and quickly became a regular featured comic on Comedy Central. He was known for his non-stop touring and was the resident comedian at Harrah’s Las Vegas.

He won the Casino Comedian of the Year at the Global Gaming Expo, according to his Facebook page.

“As his manager and his friend, I will miss his laugh, his generosity to fellow comedians, his trademark orneriness, and his enormous love of life,” his manager, Judi Marmel, told TMZ. “He left us entirely too soon — and we can only wonder where his comedy might have taken all of us. We send our love to his family, his fans, and all the comics who shared stages with him across the country.”

A few years ago, May tweeted about his own death, saying “I hope when I die people make jokes about me, don’t cry for me.”

And many of  his fellow standups were happy to oblige in their tributes.

“I came home tonight and ate everything in my kitchen and then tried to tell myself it was in honor of Ralphie May,” comedian Bonnie McFarlane tweeted.

“I was putting in a pool but decided to let the hole we dug be Ralphies final resting place,” Christopher Titus tweeted. “We are going to have an eternal cheese fountain.”