Howard Stern announced on his radio show on Wednesday that his longtime friend and stylist Ralph Cirella has died. He was 58.
As Fox 8 News reports, Stern said that Cirella’s “heart gave out” on Tuesday morning during a routine procedure intended to deal with a “rare lymphoma” that was “curable and treatable”.
Stern added that he was “angry” that Cirella waited so long to address the issue. “I just have been so sad and so angry,” said the radio host. “He didn’t take care of himself.”
Stern paid tribute to the pair’s shared sense of humour and their friendship, which he said had endured for about 40 years.
“He loved me,” Stern said. “Ralph was a trustworthy, dear friend who made me laugh every time I was with him.”
Cirella, who worked as a make-up artist and stylist, often accompanied Stern for his television appearances on America’s Got Talent and The Late Show with David Letterman.
Stern also gave credit to Cirella for setting in motion his 2008 marriage to his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, after urging him to attend the party where they first met. “He’s the reason I met Beth,” Stern said.
“There was a lot of good times on the show with Ralph,” added Stern, explaining that they’d last spoken the night before his death when Cirella was hopeful he would survive his cancer treatment. “I’m taking it very hard.”
“At the painfully young age of 58, my dear friend, Ralph Cirella, was suddenly taken from us, leaving us all in a state of profound shock,” wrote Stamos. “He was, without a doubt, a one-of-a-kind soul.”
“Ralph wasn’t just a friend; he was family,” continued Stamos. “My mother adored him, and I’ll always cherish the memory of her affectionately mistaking his “berry” for a piece of red jello on his upper lip, playfully attempting to wipe it away.”
Stamos recalled meeting Cirella when he was working “his magic as a makeup artist for Howard Stern’s Channel 9 show.”
“I can vividly recall how he transformed Howard into a perfect replica of Larry King, showcasing his exceptional talent and creativity,” added Stamos. “From the day forward, we were life long friends, I just wished he lived longer.”
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