Mike DeStefano, a comedian who became a finalist last year on Last Comic Standing, has died of a heart attack.
DeStefano had just finished a run of shows titled Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy, which was largely based on being HIV positive, his past drug addiction and his wife's death.
"We are indeed incredibly saddened by the loss of this amazing man. He had touched the lives of many with his unique brand of comedy and was looking forward to sharing the same with so many more. Mostly, we will all miss his huge heart and incredibly loving and selfless passion for people," his management company, 3 Arts Entertainment, told TVGuide.com in a statement.
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On Twitter, DeStefano's producer wrote: "We'll be talking about it later. Sorry if we've ignored the e-mails and text messages. Mike became a brother to us. We love him."
The Bronx native finished fourth during Season 7 of the NBC comedy competition show. His audition can be seen here.
His website says he began using heroin when he was 15. He'd been clean about a year at 31 and was working as a drug counselor in Florida when he offered to entertain the audience at a convention. Following positive response, he decided to start his career in stand-up.