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.
Personal life[change | change source]
Health problems[change | change source]
Pryor had a mild heart attack in November 1977. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. 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:
- Patricia Price (1960–1961, divorced) with one child named Richard Pryor Jr.
- Shelly Bonis (1967–1969, divorced) with one child named Rain Pryor
- Deborah McGuire (September 22, 1977 – 1979, divorced)
- Jennifer Lee (August 1981 – October 1982, divorced)
- Flynn Belaine (October 1986 – July 1987, divorced) with son Steven (born before the marriage) and daughter Kelsey (before divorce finalized)
- Flynn Belaine (April 1, 1990 – July 1991, divorced)
- 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
- 1968 - Richard Pryor (Dove/Reprise)
- 1971 - Craps (After Hours) (Laff Records, reissued 1993 by Loose Cannon/Island)
- 1974 - That Nigger's Crazy, (Partee/Stax, reissued 1975 by Reprise)
- 1975 - ...Is It Something I Said?, (Reprise, reissued 1991 on CD by Warner Archives)
- 1976 - Holy Smoke!, (Laff)
- 1976 - Bicentennial Nigger, (Reprise)
- 1976 - L.A. Jail, (Tiger Lily)
- 1977 - Are You Serious ???, (Laff)
- 1977 - Who Me? I'm Not Him, (Laff)
- 1978 - Black Ben The Blacksmith, (Laff)
- 1978 - The Wizard of Comedy, (Laff)
- 1978 - Wanted: Live in Concert (2-LP set), (Warner Bros. Records);Others
- 1979 - Outrageous, (Laff)
- 1980 - Insane, (Laff)
- 1981 - Rev. Du Rite, (Laff)
- 1982 - Richard Pryor Live! (picture disc), (Phoenix/Audiofidelity)
- 1982 - Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (Warner Bros. Records)
- 1983 - Here and Now, (Warner Bros. Records)
- 1983 - Supernigger, (Laff)
Filmography[change | change source]
- 1967 - The Busy Body
- 1968 - Uncle Tom's Fairy Tales
- 1968 - Wild in the Streets
- 1970 - Black Brigade
- 1970 - The Phynx
- 1971 - You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat
- 1972 - Dynamite Chicken
- 1972 - Lady Sings the Blues
- 1973 - The Mack
- 1973 - Wattstax
- 1973 - Hit!
- 1973 - Some Call It Loving
- 1974 - Uptown Saturday Night
- 1975 - The Lion Roars Again
- 1976 - Adios Amigo
- 1976 - Car Wash
- 1976 - The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
- 1976 - Silver Streak
- 1977 - Which Way Is Up?
- 1977 - Greased Lightning
- 1978 - Blue Collar
- 1978 - The Wiz
- 1978 - California Suite
- 1979 - Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
- 1979 - The Muppet Movie - (cameo)
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- 1980 - Wholly Moses
- 1980 - In God We Tru$t
- 1980 - Stir Crazy
- 1981 - Bustin' Loose
- 1982 - Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
- 1982 - Some Kind of Hero
- 1982 - The Toy
- 1983 - Superman III
- 1983 - Richard Pryor: Here and Now
- 1983 - Motown 25
- 1985 - Live & Smokin'
- 1986 - Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling
- 1987 - Critical Condition
- 1988 - Moving
- 1989 - See No Evil, Hear No Evil
- 1989 - Harlem Nights
- 1991 - The Three Muscatels
- 1991 - Another You
- 1994 - A Century of Cinema
- 1996 - Mad Dog Time
- 1997 - Lost Highway
- 1999 - The Norm Show - (Cameo in Opening of Season 2, Episode 11)
- 2003 - Bitter Jester
- 2003 - I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$@!!
- 2005 - Richard Pryor: The Funniest Man Dead Or Alive (BET Special)
- 2009 - Black Dynamite - Cameo via archive footage
References[change | change source]
- Staff writer (May 21, 2004). "Pryor: I Owe It All to Lenny Bruce". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- "George Carlin". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 1. Episode 4. October 31, 2004. Bravo.
- Allis, Tim (April 12, 1993). "Court Jester". People. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- 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.
- Margaret Cho. "Richard Pryor". Retrieved December 4, 2003.
- "Dave Chappelle". Inside the Actors Studio. Season 12. Episode 10. February 12, 2006. Bravo.
- 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.
- Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$@!!, 2003, Comedy Central
- Gillette, Amelie (June 7, 2006). "Lewis Black". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
- "Colin Quinn". Popentertainment.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
- Chris Tucker – Movie and Film Biography and Filmography – AllRovi.com
- "Interview with Louis C.K." One Night Stand. HBO. 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
- "aspecialthing.com :: View topic - THE AST INTERVIEW: PATTON OSWALT". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- 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.
- 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.
- Interview with Bill Zehme, Richard Lewis: Concerts from Hell: The Vintage Years, Image Entertainment, Released 2005-09-13
- "Interview with Jim Norton". One Night Stand. HBO. 2005. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
- "Richard Pryor to Get Posthumous Grammy Award". VOAnews.com. Voice of America. VOA News. January 11, 2006. Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- "Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor biopic to star Mike Epps". BBC News. August 27, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
- "Richard Pryor". Richard Pryor. Retrieved June 17, 2010.