"Last Comic Standing" finalist Mike DeStefano died Sunday after suffering a massive heart attack, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A rep for the 44-year-old DeStefano, who was a finalist on the NBC reality competition, confirmed the news in a statement to TMZ. "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a dear friend, a true gentleman, a great comic, and a fierce warrior, Mike DeStefano," his rep said. "Mike had a lot of wisdom to share with the world from his own life lessons and he always did it with laughter and a smile.
"It's hard to think that there won't be any more 'hey sweetheart' calls, because Mike always made my day with his mix of kindness and warmth AND profanity filled rants against the wrongs of the world. He was the genuine article. We love you and will miss you, Mike," the statement continued.
A former heroin addict, DeStefano had been clean for 11 years as well as HIV positive at the time of his death. Prior to competing on "Last Comic Standing," the Bronx native had appeared on other shows, including "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham." The comic was set to take his one-man show "A Cherry Tree" back to his home borough on Wednesday. He had also recently wrapped up a line of sold-out shows called "Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy."
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