Chuy Bravo, the Mexican-American actor best known for his work with Chelsea Handler as her sidekick on Chelsea Lately, has died at the age of 63-years-old. No details regarding the reason for his death are available yet, as per Entertainment Tonight.
Bravo recently celebrated his birthday on December 7, and he received a special message from Chelsea on his day. According to Radar Online, he was excited to hear about the note and expressed that he would work for her again.
It is because of Chelsea that her “OG Nugget” became a household name. Although he had appeared in various films, such as The Honeymooners in 2005, which starred Cedric the Entertainer, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in 2007, starring Johnny Depp, Chuy did not yet resonate with the throngs of fans that he charmed on Handler’s show from 2007 to 2014.
The small-in-stature and big-on-personality star did not live his life without worry. In fact, according to Latina in an exclusive interview from 2012, Chuy declared that he had once suffered from prostate cancer and that he was also a recovering alcoholic. He shared his take on the reason for his out-of-control drinking.
“I was young and trying to follow a crowd,” Chuy admitted. “At the time, it was what my friends were doing so I was just trying to keep up. It ended up catching up with me in the long run.”
Chuy was almost homeless at one point, but after he became Chelsea’s counterpart, he no longer worried about needing a place to live. Seven years ago, he talked about how he caught the talk show hostess’s eye in Latina. He said he had been working with a director “back in the day” who let him know when Chelsea Lately was being cast.
“He said she was looking for a little person, and well, I thought, ‘why not?’ He introduced us and we hit it off right away,” Chuy recalled.
The late actor appreciated his time with Chelsea, stating that he learned a lot during that period of time. He said he was given unmistakable lifetime guidelines, including “to work really hard, not have an ego, and give back to your community.”
“[Chelsea] has also taught me to be humble….I [once] drove a used and beat up car. Once she saw me in the parking lot driving that thing she said, ‘Oh no Chuy. You can’t be driving around in this.’ She took me to the dealer and bought me a new car. She didn’t have to do that and it inspired me to also give back.”
As a result, Chuy did just that when he established The Little Nugget Foundation to help alcoholics find recovery in his Western Mexico hometown of Tangancicuaro, in the state of Michoacan.
Born in the agricultural community, he was the youngest of seven children. After he turned 15-years-old, his family immigrated to the U.S., settling in Los Angeles’ sprawling San Fernando Valley.
Chuy said it best when he summed up his existence during that 2007 Latina interview.
“I have been through a lot in my life, but I’ve overcome my struggles and now I’m finally living my life.”
Rest in peace, Chuy Bravo.