Comedian Ralphie May has died at 45, his representative, Stacey Pokluda, confirmed to USA TODAY.

His body was found Friday morning at a private residence in Las Vegas, where he had a residency at Harrah's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

Pokluda said May had performed there Thursday night after having had to cancel several dates to recover from pneumonia, which had plagued him for weeks.

She noted his cause of death was cardiac arrest. That occurs when an electrical problem causes the heart to stop pumping completely. When that happens, oxygenated blood fails to reach the brain, lungs and other organs. (In the last two weeks, rock icon Tom Petty and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner both died as a result of cardiac arrest.)

May, who was born in Tennessee and raised in Arkansas, grew up idolizing 1980s comedy star Sam Kinnison.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog traded insults with Ralphie May, left, Dat Phan and David Mordal in 2004 during the first season of NBC's 'Last Comic Standing.'   (Photo: Brian Kenison, NBC)

He mined his obesity for laughs as part of his standup routine. He eventually parlayed a second-place finish in Season 1 of NBC's Last Comic Standing into multiple stand-up specials for Comedy Central and Netflix.

Pokluda noted in her statement that May had just won the Casino Comedian of the Year award at the Global Gaming Expo. His residency at Harrah's Las Vegas was supposed to last through the end of the year.

May is survived by his wife Lahna Turner and two children, daughter April June May and son August James May.

Fellow comedians ranging from Kevin Hart to Larry the Cable Guy remembered him on Twitter after hearing the news.