Mark Wahlberg's real-life entourage is minus one member.
Donnie Carroll, the rapper-turned-actor's childhood pal who served as the inspiration for the character Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) on HBO's Entourage, died Sunday of an asthma attack in Boston. He was 39.
Carroll, who was fondly known as "Donkey," apparently collapsed in the arms of his fiancée Mira Shanti Sunday night, and was rushed to a local hospital, where he died in the emergency room.
"He had asthma and he had an attack," Shanti told the Boston Herald. "He fell into my arms. We rushed him to the hospital but they couldn't get a beat."
Shanti said that Wahlberg had been informed of Carroll's death and that he was "distraught" and "sad."
Carroll and Wahlberg grew up together in the same Boston neighborhood. When the former underwear model began his rise to fame and fortune in the mid '90s, Carroll accompanied him out to Hollywood to act as his full-time personal assistant.
Carroll worked for Wahlberg for 14 years, performing many of the same duties dutifully carried out by Turtle for Vince Chase (Adrian Grenier) on the hit series, while trying to launch a rap career under the name Murda One.
The duo had a falling out earlier this year, after Carroll complained that Wahlberg had failed to compensate him for using his life story to comic effect in Entourage. He felt that he had been left out, while Wahlberg had "taken care of" other real-life acquaintances who inspired characters in the show.
"I love him a lot," Wahlberg told Boston Herald at the time. "But when a guy reaches a certain age, he's gotta start taking responsibility. He doesn't want to work, he wants to rap."
Despite the fall out, they reportedly continued to speak on occasion.
Though Carroll is gone, aspects of his personality will live on via the character he inspired when the upcoming third season of Entourage debuts on HBO.
The series recently received a pair of Golden Globe nominations, including Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical and a Best Supporting Actor nod for Jeremy Piven, who plays aggressive agent Ari Gold, a character said to be based on Wahlberg's real-life agent, Ari Emanuel.
Entourage also received three nominations for the 2005 Emmy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Piven, Best Casting and Best Directing, but was shut out across the board.