Richard Pryor

American comedian and actor (1940–2005)

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 - December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor and writer. Pryor performed in movies, on television and as a stand-up comedian. He won an Emmy Award in 1973. He won five Grammy Awards (in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981 and 1982). In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. He was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay for his work on Blazing Saddles. The first ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was given to him in 1998. Pryor is listed at Number 1 on Comedy Central's list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians.

Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor, February 1986
Birth nameRichard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor
Born(1940-12-01)December 1, 1940
Peoria, Illinois, United States
DiedDecember 10, 2005(2005-12-10) (aged 65)
Encino, California, United States
MediumStand-up, movie, television
Years active1958–1999
GenresSatire, Observational comedy, Black comedy, Improvisational comedy, Character comedy
Subject(s)Racism, Race relations, American politics, African-American culture, Human sexuality, Self-deprecation, Everyday life, Recreational drug use
InfluencesLenny Bruce,[1] Jack Benny, Jonathan Winters, Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Redd Foxx, Paul Mooney
InfluencedGeorge Carlin,[2] Martin Lawrence,[3] George Lopez,[4] Denis Leary, Margaret Cho,[5] Eddie Izzard, Dave Chappelle,[6] Chris Rock,[7] Eddie Murphy,[7] Whoopi Goldberg,[8] Robin Williams,[8] Lewis Black[9] Colin Quinn,[10] Bernie Mac,[7] Joe Rogan, Chris Tucker,[11] Louis C.K.,[12] Patton Oswalt[13] Artie Lange,[14] Jon Stewart,[15]Richard Lewis,[16] and Jim Norton[17]
SpousePatricia Price (1960–1961; divorced) 1 child
Shelley R. Bonis (1968–1969; divorced) 1 child
Deborah McGuire
(1977–1978; divorced)
Jennifer Lee (1979–1982; divorced)
Flynn Belaine (1986–1987; divorced) 2 children
Flynn Belaine (1990–1991; divorced)
Jennifer Lee (2001–2005; widow)
Notable works and rolesHimself in Richard Pryor: Live in Concert and Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
Daddy Rich in Car Wash

Wally Karue in See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Harry Monroe in Stir Crazy
Gus Gorman in Superman III
Emmy Awards
Writing in Variety or Music
1974 Lily
Grammy Awards
Best Comedy Album
1975 That Nigger's Crazy
1976 ...Is It Something I Said?
1977 Bicentennial Nigger
1982 Rev. Du Rite
1983 Live on the Sunset Strip
American Comedy Awards
Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy 1993

Pryor died of a heart attack in Encino, Los Angeles, California. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, a year after his death.[18]

A biographical movie based on the life of Pryor is being produced by Lee Daniels and Oprah Winfrey.[19] It will star Mike Epps as Pryor.[19]

Personal life change

Pryor was born in Peoria, Illinois into an African-American family.

Health problems change

Pryor had a mild heart attack in November 1977. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986.[20] In 1990, Pryor had a second and more severe heart attack. He had triple heart bypass surgery. By the early 1990s, he needed to use a wheelchair because of his multiple sclerosis.

The freebasing incident change

On June 9, 1980, during the making of the movie Bustin' Loose, Pryor set himself on fire. He was freebasing cocaine while drinking 151-proof rum. He ran down Parthenia Street from his Northridge, California, home, on fire, until stopped by police. He was taken to the hospital. Burns covered more than half of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital.

Marriages and relationships change

Pryor was married seven times to five different women:

  1. Patricia Price (1960–1961, divorced) with one child named Richard Pryor Jr.
  2. Shelly Bonis (1967–1969, divorced) with one child named Rain Pryor
  3. Deborah McGuire (September 22, 1977 – 1979, divorced)
  4. Jennifer Lee (August 1981 – October 1982, divorced)
  5. Flynn Belaine (October 1986 – July 1987, divorced) with son Steven (born before the marriage) and daughter Kelsey (before divorce finalized)
  6. Flynn Belaine (April 1, 1990 – July 1991, divorced)
  7. Jennifer Lee (June 29, 2001 – December 10, 2005, his death)

All of his wives, except Belaine, said there was domestic violence. Most of these times were connected to Pryor's drug use.

He had six children: Richard Jr., Elizabeth, Rain, Steven, Franklin and Kelsey.

Discography change

Albums change

Official canon

Filmography change

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References change

  1. Staff writer (May 21, 2004). "Pryor: I Owe It All to Lenny Bruce". Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  2. "George Carlin". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 1. Episode 4. October 31, 2004. Bravo.
  3. Allis, Tim (April 12, 1993). "Court Jester". People. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  4. Lopez, George; Keteyian, Armen (2004). Why You Crying?: My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-5994-7.
  5. Margaret Cho. "Richard Pryor". Retrieved December 4, 2003.
  6. "Dave Chappelle". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 12. Episode 10. February 12, 2006. Bravo.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Reid, Shaheem (December 12, 2005). "Chris Rock, Bernie Mac, Eddie Murphy Call Pryor The Real King Of Comedy — 'Without Richard, There Would Be No Me,' Bernie Mac Says". MTV. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$@!!, 2003, Comedy Central
  9. Gillette, Amelie (June 7, 2006). "Lewis Black". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  10. "Colin Quinn". Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  11. Chris Tucker – Movie and Film Biography and Filmography –
  12. "Interview with Louis C.K." One Night Stand. HBO. 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
  13. " :: View topic - THE AST INTERVIEW: PATTON OSWALT". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  14. Kirschling, Gregory (November 7, 2008). "Artie Lange: 'F--- It, I'll Write a Book'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  15. Jeremy Gillick; Nonna Gorilovskaya (November–December 2008). "Meet Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz (aka) Jon Stewart: The wildly zeitgeisty Daily Show host". Moment. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  16. Interview with Bill Zehme, Richard Lewis: Concerts from Hell: The Vintage Years, Image Entertainment, Released 2005-09-13
  17. "Interview with Jim Norton". One Night Stand. HBO. 2005. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  18. "Richard Pryor to Get Posthumous Grammy Award". Voice of America. VOA News. January 11, 2006. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor biopic to star Mike Epps". BBC News. August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  20. "Richard Pryor". Richard Pryor. Retrieved June 17, 2010.

Other websites change