Who Is Chelsea Handler's Brother? Former Host Speaks Out About Her Brother's Tragic Death

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Who Is Chelsea Handler's Brother? Former Host Speaks Out About Her Brother's Tragic Death

Born February 25, 1975, in New Jersey, Chelsea Handler is a writer, producer, comedian, actress and TV show host.

Handler started her career early on when she moved to L.A. at age 19 and began pursuing a career in acting. Two years later, she decided to switch to stand-up comedy after she received positive feedback about a story she shared about driving while drunk.

Since then Handler has had a fulfilling career. She has appeared on various shows including Girls Behaving Badly, My Wife and Kids, The Bernie Mac Show, Weekends at the D.L. and The Practice. She has also been a successful host, becoming the second woman ever to host the VMA Awards in 2010.

Continuing to make a name for herself, in 2012 Chandler was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Times magazine.

Even when she isn't on the screen, Chandler works diligently to better her community. 

She has received awards including the "Ally for Equality Award" from the Human Rights Campaign, recognizing "the outstanding efforts of those who dedicate time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people." She was also named  Grand Marshal of the 2009 Los Angeles Pride celebration "for her visible and vocal support of equality."

Here's what you need to know about 44-year old Chelsea Handler and her interview with USA Today where she speaks about the incident that changed her life forever.

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Handler opens up about how her brother's death affected her.

1. She is the former host of the show Chelsea Lately.

When first asked to have her own show in 2006, Handler was skeptical about the idea but decided to go through with it. 

Debuted in 2007 on E!, Chelsea Lately was a late night comedy talk show hosted by Handler. The show lasting a half hour per episode consisted of Handler performing short stand-up monologues focusing on pop culture and current events.  According to WMagazine, the guests were important to the popularity of the show. 

“The worse the guests are, the more pathetic they are, the funnier the show is,” she said.

The series finale of the show August 26, 2014, and was viewed by 1.003 million viewers. 

Handler posting about her last showing for Chelsea Lately. 

2. Her eldest brother passed away.

The 44-year old grew up as the youngest of six children. She has two elder sisters and three elder brothers. 

Her eldest brother Chet passed away in 1984 when she was just 9 years old. Chet fell off a cliff during a hiking trip in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. He was only 21-years old. 

The death of her brother came as a shock, one that would last longer than Handler expected to admit. 

Handler shares an excerpt from her book about being vulnerable.

3. His death broke her

In her interview with USA Today on Tuesday, April 9, Chandler spoke up about how much pain her brother's death caused her. 

“You just feel broken,” she said.” [Chet was] kind of my protector, kind of a father figure, a big brother, a crush, your first boyfriend.”

For a long time, Handler couldn’t admit how much pain she was in, she couldn’t allow herself to accept that he was really gone.

“If anybody talked about Chet or mentioned him, I’d just leave the room. I’d get on my bike, and I’d ride my bike for hours around the neighborhood. I could cry on my bike, but I wouldn’t let anyone see me cry in person," she said

In July 2017, Handler made a tribute to her brother on Instagram. Her caption read 33 years ago this month my brother Chet died. He was 22, and the oldest of 6 kids. We were never 6 again. Only 5. The number was never the right number again.”

Handler went on to talk about what she learned from her brother’s death and how it had significantly impacted her life.

“But, because of that day, I learned how to live and love and laugh and to: Show up Stand up Love up Argue Fight Make up Show up again. Go to bat for people. Tell them you love them. Defend your friends. Stand up for yourself. Give away the things you have in excess. Give away the things you love the most. This is the only chance we get. Make it count. Live a little," she said. 

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4. She had to find ways to deal with the pain

It was not until recently that Handler decided she should seek help to work through her brother's death. According to US Magazine and other news sources, this is how she began working with psychiatrist Dr. Dan Siegel.  

“I thought I could go through life without ever having to go to therapy,” she said. “Like I’m tougher than that, I’m smarter than that. I don’t have to visit my childhood stuff.”

Her sessions made her really reflect on the things Dr. Siegel was telling her about how she was still attached to her 9-year-old self. Therapy not only helped her come to terms with her brother's death, but it helped her realize how his death has affected her relationships over the years. She admitted to USA Today that her brother's death represented her first heartbreak.

“I don’t trust men because the most important person in my life lied to me,” she said. He told her he would come back from his trip, but he never did.

Handler talks about how she was waiting for her brother to come home.

5. She was inspired to write a book

After being in therapy, Handler took the tools she learned from her sessions and decided to write a memoir titled Life Will Be the Death of Me: … and you too! 

“I didn’t want to write a book until I had something really to say, because I felt like I had been getting away with murder with my career for so long that it was time to pony up and actually do something of import,” Handler said.

Handler's memoir was released April 9, and she will be going on a comedy tour to promote the book. 

Handler's memoir is now out for people to purchase. 

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Alexis George is a writer who covers love, relationship advice, astrology, personality topics and celebrity news.