Teddy Ray, a rising comedic talent with appearances on Wild ‘n Out, How to Be Broke and Pause With Sam Jay and MTV comedy clip show Messyness, has died. He was 32.
The comedian, actor and writer whose legal name is Theadore Brown was found deceased in Rancho Mirage, California, after Riverside County sheriff’s deputies received a call and responded to a private residence in the desert community at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sgt. Brandi Swan told The Hollywood Reporter.
A cause of death for the Gardena, California, resident is currently unknown, and the investigation is being handled by the Riverside County Coroner’s Office, according to Swan.
The multi-hyphenate served as the co-host of Ridiculousness spinoff Messyness — which was renewed for a second season last December — and appeared alongside reality star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, actress Tori Spelling and ice skater Adam Rippon. But Ray had also made a number of other scripted and reality TV appearances, including in guest roles on the HBO Max series Pause With Sam Jay and voicing a character named Teddy in Comedy Central’s How to Be Broke, an animated series which he also wrote for.
Last year, Ray appeared in an episode of Defiant Digital’s improv comedy courtroom show Cancel Court, where comedians battle it out on opposing sides of a faux trial to judge whether a celebrity should be “canceled.” That was after he starred in a number of web series, including 2017’s Black Student Union.
In terms of his stand-up, the young talent previously appeared on Wild ‘n Out, Comedy Central’s Colossal Clusterfest and HBO’s All Def Comedy. Having performed around the country, Ray’s most recent club appearances were in June and July at D.C.’s Comedy Loft and L.A.’s HaHa Comedy Club.
Ray rose to internet fame through his viral “double cheek” meme, which came from a parody of Diane Sawyer’s 2017 Caitlyn Jenner interview that was produced by All Def Digital & Doctor Chorizo Comedy.
Following the news of his passing, Ray’s Hollywood friends and fellow talents remembered the young performer on social media.
In a statement posted to Twitter, which also featured a photo of Ray, Insecure and Rap Sh!t creator Issa Rae’s production company Hoorae remembered the “longtime creative collaborator and friend.”
“Grateful for the energy you always brought to our projects and sets!” the tweet concludes.
Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson took to Ray’s final Instagram post, writing in the comments, “Heartbroken. Gonna miss you teddy.”
All Def, a multi-platform media company that works at the intersections of hip-hop, comedy and social justice, shared their “deepest condolences and prayers to his immediate family and friends” on social media.
“All Def Family we’re heartbroken and still can’t believe that our brother Teddy Ray has passed away,” the company posted in a statement. “We will miss him everyday but we know he will have Heaven laughing.”
In a tweet, Comedy Central also remembered the “beloved performer,” sharing that he will be “deeply missed” by the comedy community.
Other notable names on the comedy scene, including Deon Cole, Kat Williams, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, all shared their condolences over his passing.
Williams called the burgeoning talent “brilliant,” writing in the comments of his last Instagram post, “So sorry. Love u,” while Cole also replied “Wow.”
Daniel Baker, known professionally as Desus Nice, tweeted “rip teddy ray, he was a real one.” The Kid Mero, whose real name is Joel Martinez, tweeted Ray had “effortless wit.”