SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Puerto Rican comedian and actor Luis Raul Martinez has died at age 51 in his Caribbean homeland.
Friends and colleagues in the U.S. territory said Martinez died Sunday of complications from pneumonia. He had been hospitalized since mid-January.
Martinez was known for energetic stand-up routines and a slew of memorable characters, including an elderly pot-smoking woman dubbed Dona Mary Jane. He performed before 17,000 fans last year at a stadium in Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan. He was also a TV show host.
Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla is praising Martinez as an "extraordinary actor and comedian" and has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at all public buildings for three days.
Fellow boricua celebrities quickly reacted to Martinez's death via Twitter.
"Very sadden by the news. Very Say, Luis Paul, fly high brother. R.I.P," tweeted singer Ricky Martin.
“Just when I finished recording a track about "Life" I find out about the death of our friend and comedian @LuisPaulParao," tweeted Rene Perez of Calle 13. "A lot strength for the family of @LuisRaulParo, I still don’t believe it …."
Don Omar tweeted: "My condolences to the family of my great friend, recently passed LUIS Raul.. thank for making us laugh for so many years.. today we cry your departure."
Daddy Yankee posted a snapshot of the two on Instagram. It was captioned: "Thank you for making all the families in your Puerto Rico laugh, including mine. R.I.P. Luis Raul."
Funeral arrangements are pending. Martinez is survived by his parents and his sister.