Ricarlo Flanagan, 'Shameless' Actor and 'Last Comic Standing' Alum, Dies at 40

Ricarlo Flanagan, a rapper, actor and comedian best known for credits including Shameless and Last Comic Standing, has died. Flanagan passed away over the weekend at the age of 40. His agent, Stu Golfman of KMR Talent, confirmed his death in a statement to Deadline, remembering Flanagan as "one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life and a joy to work for. He will be missed dearly."

Although a cause of death has not formally been confirmed, his agent told Variety his passing appears to be the result of COVID-19 complications. On Oct. 1, Flanagan revealed that he contracted the virus, sharing with his followers, "this covid is no joke. I don't wish this on anybody." He revealed in a follow-up tweet that he was experiencing "chest pain." In a statement upon his passing, Golfman said, "Sadly this pandemic has taken the life of an extremely talented performer and even nicer human being. Ricarlo will be greatly missed."

Flanagan got his start in the world of comedy in 2007 after he discovered a flyer on a telephone pole in Ann Arbor, Michigan advertising for comedy classes, according to PEOPLE. After attending one class, Flanagan pursued a career in comedy. He released his debut comedy album Man Law in 2013 before he went on to compete on the ninth season of NBC's Last Comic Standing, becoming a semifinalist in the competition. Flanagan was also an actor and notably held the recurring role of Davey on the eighth season of Showtime's Shameless. His other acting credits include the Disney+ series Walk the Prank, The Mick, The Carmichael Show, Insecure, The Neighborhood, Mad About You, Kidding, and Room 104. Prior to his passing, he landed his first film role in the thriller Emily the Criminal, starring Aubrey Plaza, Theo Rossi and more.

In addition to his work in TV, Flanagan also had a rap career under the name of Father Flanagan. He released his debut album, Death of Davinchi, in 2010. That album was followed by two more, An Opus Inspired By Andre Martin in 2019 and Hope Your Proud in 2020. Flanagan announced on Sept. 27 that his fourth album, Both Sides Of The Brain, would be released in October.


In the wake of his passing, Flanagan's friends have started a GoFundMe to help "get him home to his family in Cleveland, Ohio, so his family can put him to rest." The page remembered Flanagan as "a loving son, grandson, cousin, nephew, and friend with many amazing talents" who "brought laughter to every room he walked in." The page has raised more than $18,000, with an initial goal of $10,000.