Former late-night host Chelsea Handler paid tribute to her beloved “Chelsea Lately” sidekick Chuy Bravo following news of his death.
“I loved this nugget in a big way, and I took great pleasure in how many people loved him as much as I did and do,” the comedian wrote Sunday on Instagram, recalling sweet memories with the actor and sharing a photo montage highlighting some of their time together. "@chuybravo gave us so much laughter and I’ll never forget the sound of his laughter coming from his office into mine.”
Bravo, who had dwarfism and stood 4 feet 3 inches tall, reportedly died suddenly over the weekend after being hospitalized with stomach pains while visiting family in Mexico, Variety and Deadline reported. He was 63.
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I loved this nugget in a big way, and I took great pleasure in how many people loved him as much as I did and do. @chuybravo gave us so much laughter and I’ll never forget the sound of his laughter coming from his office into mine. Or his “business calls” with his “business manager,” or his shoe rack with all his children-sized shoes. I’ll never forget him coming to Christmas with my family one year in the Florida keys, and when my niece who was 5 or 6 at the time—saw him, she ran in the other direction saying she was scared. My sister and I were mortified and were apologizing to Chuy, who told us,”it’s ok, lots of little kids get scared when they see big kids coming their way.” I love you, Chuy!
Handler, who is now more focused on political activism and marijuana advocacy, added that Bravo “didn’t suffer and he wasn’t in any prolonged pain.” She said she last spoke to him over the phone about a week ago when he was visiting his sister in Mexico and they made plans for her to buy him lunch when he returned.
“The most important thing is that he didn’t know he was sick, and he didn’t suffer,” she added in her post’s comments. “Chuy touched so many and brought joy and happiness to everyone who met him, so that is all of ours and I don’t believe in death being the end anymore. He is still around all of us. Just not that perfect little/big body anymore.”
The actor appeared on the E! talk show as Handler’s assistant and sidekick from 2007 until the show went off the air in 2014. While he was often the punchline of her jokes, he also starred in wacky video segments including “Chuy’s Makeover” and “Chuy Gone Wild.”
“Chelsea Lately” director Guy Branum also honored the late TV sidekick in a Twitter thread illuminating Bravo’s knack for side hustle.
It's not my story to tell, and I wasn't close enough to learn all of it, but that man faced levels of tragedy and triumph I can barely understand. He lost his parents at a young age, and fought hard to build a life for himself in a world he wasn't the right size for.— Guy Branum (@guybranum) December 15, 2019
“To most people, he was just the funny little guy on TV, but he had one of the most amazing lives I’ve ever heard anyone talk about,” Branum wrote. “It’s not my story to tell, and I wasn’t close enough to learn all of it, but that man faced levels of tragedy and triumph I can barely understand. He lost his parents at a young age, and fought hard to build a life for himself in a world he wasn’t the right size for.”
He added that Bravo helped people get to the United States to build better lives for themselves, survived prison and made movies.
“He got to be a performer beloved by millions. I’m so sad he’s gone, but so proud he did so much with his life,” Branum added.