We're also delighted at the news from Mayer's on-screen cuz and longtime personal friend through the years of "The Dukes" and beyond, Byron ("Coy Duke") Cherry. He has spoken to Mopar Magazine, and the publication plans to do a tribute issue for Chris. It's scheduled for a September release, and Byron is gathering information for it right now.
Fans have also set up a tribute page on Facebook.
Byron called BRBTV today to chat a bit about the whole thing, and he suggested we share some of those thoughts here. Fans are (naturally) wondering how Chris died. It's uncertain, though some sources have indicated natural causes. He was found in his bed, Byron says, adding that he and his wife Krista received a call after Chris had been found, to let them know the news. Chris' fiancee Catherine, who was rushing home from an out-of-town TV commercial shoot, also called Byron about the news.
Byron was fortunate enough to have seen Chris in those final days, as the two had been close for many years. Byron tells us, for instance, that when his son Byron Jr. was killed in a car crash and he was devastated with grief, it was Chris that he called. Chris was brimming with encouragement -- and verses from Scripture. Now, based on our own chat with him a few weeks back, we can just picture that!
Most of all, Byron wants fans to know that what was important about Chris was his life, not his death. For instance ...
These are just some of the wonderful thoughts we've seen expressed, many of them responses to Byron's Facebook posting this week:
RIP Christopher Mayer. We will miss you.
Christopher Mayer, left, with his fiancee Catherine Irvine, and his "Dukes" costar Byron Cherry and his wife Krista, at the Johnny Cash Music Festival in Ventura, California, just last month.