Richard Pryor

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Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor, February 1986
Birth name Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor
Born December 1, 1940(1940-12-01)
Peoria, Illinois, United States
Died December 10, 2005(2005-12-10) (aged 65)
Encino, California, United States
Medium Stand-up, Film, Television
Nationality American
Years active 1958–1999
Genres Satire, 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
Influences Lenny Bruce,[1] Jack Benny, Jonathan Winters, Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Redd Foxx, Paul Mooney
Influenced George 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]
Spouse Patricia 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 roles

Himself 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
Website RichardPryor.com
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

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (1 December 1940 - 10 December 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.

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 biopic 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 | change source]

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

Health problems[change | change source]

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 | change source]

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 | change source]

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 (1 April 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 | change source]

Albums[change | change source]

Official canon

Filmography[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Staff writer (2004-05-21). "Pryor: I Owe It All to Lenny Bruce". Contactmusic.com. http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/story/pryor.-i-owe-it-all-to-lenny-bruce. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  2. "George Carlin". Inside the Actors Studio. Bravo. 2004-10-31. No. 4, season 1.
  3. Allis, Tim (1993-04-12). "Court Jester". People. http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20110142,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  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". http://www.margaretcho.com/content/2003/12/04/richard-pryor/. Retrieved 4 December 2003.
  6. "Dave Chappelle". Inside the Actors Studio. Bravo. 2006-02-12. No. 10, season 12.
  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 (2006-06-07). "Lewis Black". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/content/node/49217. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  10. "Colin Quinn". Popentertainment.com. http://www.popentertainment.com/quinn.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  11. Chris Tucker – Movie and Film Biography and Filmography – AllRovi.com
  12. "Interview with Louis C.K.". One Night Stand. HBO. 2005. http://www.hbo.com/onenightstand/interviews/louis_ck.html. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
  13. "aspecialthing.com :: View topic - THE AST INTERVIEW: PATTON OSWALT". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. http://web.archive.org/web/20071013165258/http://aspecialthing.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1465. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  14. Kirschling, Gregory (2008-11-07). "Artie Lange: 'F--- It, I'll Write a Book'". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20239025_3,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
  15. Jeremy Gillick; Nonna Gorilovskaya (November/December 2008). "Meet Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz (aka) Jon Stewart: The wildly zeitgeisty Daily Show host". Moment. http://www.momentmag.com/Exclusive/2008/12/JonStewart.html. 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. http://www.hbo.com/onenightstand/interviews/jim_norton.html. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  18. "Richard Pryor to Get Posthumous Grammy Award". VOA News (Voice of America). January 11, 2006. http://voanews.com/english/archive/2006-01/Richard-Pryor-to-Get-Posthumous-Grammy-Award.cfm. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor biopic to star Mike Epps". BBC News.com. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28953387. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  20. "Richard Pryor". Richard Pryor. http://www.richardpryor.com/0/4113/0/1240/. Retrieved 2010-06-17.

Other websites[change | change source]