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Ralph Cirella Dies: Howard Stern Longtime Stylist, Friend And Radio Show Contributor Was 58

Ralph Cirella, Howard Stern’s close friend and longtime stylist who made frequent appearances as a contributor to Stern’s radio show, died yesterday after a battle with a rare lymphoma. He was 58

An emotional Stern made the announcement today on his SiriusXM radio show. Stern said Cirella’s “heart gave out” Tuesday morning during a procedure as he was being treated for the lymphoma.

“I just have been so sad and so angry,” Stern continued. “He didn’t take care of himself.”

“I will miss him terribly,” Stern said on the episode largely devoted to remembrances of Cirella, adding “I can’t believe we’re saying it, but this guy was my man and he’s like the brother I never had.”

“I think this is the toughest part of loving someone — when you lose them,” Stern said. “Lord knows I loved Ralph. My wife said to me last night, ‘You and Ralph have a secret language’ and it’s true … we had a great chemistry, and we had a great friendship, and Ralph was one of my bros. In fact, I came to think of Ralph as family.”

Cirella first called into Stern’s WNBC show in 1985 with his mother, and eventually was hired to do special effects on Stern’s late-night variety program The Channel 9 Show. “He was a tremendously talented guy,” Stern said. “Ralph would make these elaborate prosthetics like in the movies or like on Saturday Night Live and he’d do them for zero money.”

Stern recounted how, when Cirella offered some constructive criticism on Stern’s appearance, the radio jock hired him as a stylist. “Some of the most fun I’ve had with Ralph is when … we’d be going through my closet, he’d be picking out my clothing … and then he’d go, ‘Alright, take your pants off now.’ It’s just so stupid and it’s killing me I’ll never hear that again.”

Stern also said his marriage to wife Beth Ostrosky wouldn’t have happened without Cirella, who one night insisted Stern accompany him to a party, where Stern “met the person I love in this world the most, Beth.”

Stern’s co-host Robin Quivers also paid tribute, calling Cirella “a true friend” who consoled her after a romantic break-up. “He just said, ‘F*ck that guy … you don’t spend a second feeling bad about this.’ He was just that kind of guy … Ralph was Team Robin.”

Actor John Stamos, also a friend of Cirella, posted a lengthy tribute on Instagram, calling Cirella “without a doubt, a one-of-a-kind soul.”

“My heart aches at the thought of Ralph departing this world alone,” Stamos writes, “without ever experiencing the deep love he undeniably deserved. 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.”

Information on survivors was not immediately available.

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