Ralph Cirella, longtime “Howard Stern Show ”contributor and stylist, dies at 58

Ralph Cirella, longtime “Howard Stern Show ”contributor and stylist, dies at 58
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Stern revealed that his friend was battling a rare lymphoma: "I was not ready for Ralph to go."

Ralph Cirella, a longtime friend and stylist to Howard Stern who frequently appeared on his popular radio show, has died at 58.

The emotional host announced the news on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, during which he revealed that Cirella was receiving treatment for a “rare lymphoma” when his “heart gave out” on Tuesday morning.

He also voiced his frustrations over the circumstances of the loss, saying, "Ralph developed an illness, but I really feel he got involved a little too late because the illness he got was curable and was treatable, but he had some complications of waiting too long, and I got very upset with him.”

"I think this is the toughest part of loving someone — when you lose them," Stern said during Wednesday's episode, largely devoted to stories about Cirella's life and their enduring friendship. "Lord knows I loved Ralph."

He continued, “I was not ready for Ralph to go. I was not expecting Ralph to die.”

<p>Araya Diaz/Getty Images</p> Ralph Cirella

Araya Diaz/Getty Images

Ralph Cirella

Born on April 20, 1965, Cirella first connected with Stern when calling into his WNBC radio program in 1985. After collaborating with the radio host on a penis puppet for a New Year’s Eve event at the NYC Felt Forum, he was hired to do special effects on Stern's late-night variety show, The Channel 9 Show. Cirella then worked as Stern’s personal stylist for decades, also becoming a wardrobe consultant and set designer for the show.

He briefly hosted The Friday Show on Howard 100 radio, but he is best remembered for his guest appearances and frequent call-ins to The Howard Stern Show. Cirella would often join Stern live on air to share stories and weigh in on pop-culture discussions.

Stern revealed that Cirella is the reason he starts every episode with “hey now,” a callback to The Larry Sanders Show that the stylist often repeated. He also said Cirella was the reason he met his wife, actress Beth Ostrosky Stern, explaining that Cirella encouraged him to attend the party where they first crossed paths.

"We loved to laugh together," Stern said of his friend. “We would giggle. My wife said to me last night, 'You and Ralph had a secret language.'"

The Howard Stern Show shared a touching homage to Cirella on social media, including a slideshow of photos captioned, “It just seems impossible that he is gone. Bye for now, Ralph.”

John Stamos, another longtime friend, also shared a tribute post on Instagram.

“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,” Stamos wrote. “He was, without a doubt, a one-of-a-kind soul. Ralph wasn't just a friend; he was family.”

Explaining that he first met Cirella when he worked as a makeup artist on Stern’s Channel 9 show, Stamos said, “I can vividly recall how he transformed Howard into a perfect replica of Larry King, showcasing his exceptional talent and creativity. From the day forward, we were lifelong friends. I just wished he lived longer.”

He continued, “In our final exchange, I shared a story about someone who called me lucky. When I asked why, their response was simple and profound: 'Because you're friends with Ralph from The Howard Stern Show.' And they were absolutely right. My dear friend, I will miss you so much.”

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Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.