According to his obituary, Batayeh died in his sleep in his Michigan home following a heart attack. His sister Diane confirmed his death with TMZ, who says his death was very sudden, especially considering the actor had no history of heart problems.
“He will be greatly missed by those who loved him and his great ability to bring laughter and joy to so many,” Batayeh’s family said in a statement. “His family also remembered him as someone who was “always passionate about helping youth in the community where he lived and grew up facing similar challenges,” reads his obituary.
Batayeh has several credits throughout film and television, alongside his three-episode stint on Breaking Bad in 2011. These include a voice-over role in X-Men: Days of Future Past and appearances in The Bernie Mac Show, Boy Meets World, Battle Creek, Real Husbands of Hollywood, CSI: Miami, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Prank of America.
The actor is survived by brothers and sisters (Ida, Diane, MaryAnn, Madeline, and Theresa), along with numerous nieces and nephews. Additionally, Batayeh’s impact will be remembered through his numerous friendships, evident from the Facebook tributes posted following his passing.
Batayeh headlined notable clubs like New York’s Gotham and Los Angeles’ Laugh Factory, Comedy Store, the Improv, and the Icehouse in his comedy career. He became one of the first American comedians to perform locally in the Middle East, doing shows in Dubai, where he filmed a special for Showtime Arabia and Egypt, Lebanon, Nazareth, and Jordan. Batayeh was also invited by the royal family of Jordan two years in a row to perform at the Amman International Comedy Festival.
With Batayeh a Detroit native, a celebration of life service is scheduled on June 16 at the Vermeulen-Sajewski Funeral Home in Plymouth, Michigan, at 2 pm. According to his family, any donations made in his honor will support and provide recreation to the Southwest Detroit youth.