Howard Stern Mourns Tragic Death Of Close Companion Ralph Cirella

Veteran television and radio personality Howard Stern is mourning the loss of his longtime friend Ralph Cirella. Since coming into the limelight in the late '80s, Stern has racked up as many enemies as he has success. For instance, he was once friends with "The Late Show" former host David Letterman until things turned sour between them. According to Yahoo! News, Stern called out Letterman and his wife, Regina Lasko, unprovoked, leading to an eventual falling out between them. But while Stern has since apologized, the pair's friend was never the same again.

Similarly, in September 2023, Stern announced the end of his friendship with Bill Maher, who seemingly targeted the "Howard Stern Show" host. "The guys played me a clip from Bill Maher's new podcast, and he was actually dumping on me," Stern explained of his decision, per Entertainment Weekly. But while Stern has clearly made enemies with a few famous names, the media personality also boasts a number of lifelong friends, including stylist and makeup artist Ralph Cirella, who tragically died on December 5.

Howard Stern is taking Ralph Cirella's death 'very hard'

In a recent episode of his eponymous radio show, Howard Stern announced the death of his longtime friend Ralph Cirella. "My dear, dear friend Ralph ... has died... I just have been so sad, so angry," Stern admitted during the December 6 episode dedicated to honoring Cirella. Per The New York Post, Stern revealed that Cirella had been diagnosed with a curable and treatable form of lymphoma and was undergoing a treatment procedure when he died. "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," Stern explained (via Entertainment Weekly).

Nonetheless, the veteran media personality had nothing but praise for his friend, who also doubled as his stylist. "Ralph was a trustworthy, dear friend who made me laugh every time I was with him," Stern gushed. And expectedly, the famed stylist's sudden death hasn't been easy on his loved ones, including Stern, who admitted to be struggling with grief. "I think this is the toughest part of loving someone — when you lose them. Lord knows I loved Ralph," Stern said on the show. "I was not ready for Ralph to go. I was not expecting Ralph to die. I'm taking it very hard," he added.

In addition to the pair's enduring friendship, Stern also credits Cirella for introducing him to his wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern, whom he married back in 2008.

Howard Stern and Ralph Cirella had an enduring friendship till the end

According to Entertainment Weekly, Ralph Cirella's first contact with Howard Stern happened in 1985 when he called into the media personality's then-WNBC radio program. From there, the pair went on to have a beautiful, enduring friendship spanning several decades. "I've probably been friends with Ralph for maybe 40 years. We loved to laugh together wherever we'd be," Stern fondly remembered in a recent episode of "The Howard Stern Radio Show." 

Throughout their friendship, Cirella and Stern worked together often. Per Entertainment Weekly, Cirella previously worked on Stern's 1998 show "The Channel 9 Show" where he worked in the special effects department. The famous stylist also made several guest appearances on "The Howard Stern Show," where he joined Stern to discuss happenings in the entertainment industry.

Stern was, however, not the only celebrity Cirella enjoyed a lifelong friendship with. In the wake of Cirella's death, "General Hospital" star John Stamos took to Instagram, where he penned a touching length tribute to the late stylist. "He was, without a doubt, a one-of-a-kind soul. Ralph wasn't just a friend; he was family," the tribute read in part. "My dear friend, I will miss you so much. I love you, Ralphie boy. Rest in peace."