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#120038 - 12/10/05 08:27 PM Richard Pryor Dies
Sutter Cane Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 626
Loc: Wichita, KS
In reply to:

Dec 10, 4:41 PM EST
The Associated Press

Richard Pryor, the caustic yet perceptive actor-comedian who lived dangerously close to the edge both on stage and off, died Saturday. He was 65.

Pryor died shortly before 8 a.m. of a heart attack after being taken to a hospital from his home in the San Fernando Valley, said his business manager, Karen Finch. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.

"We loved him and will miss you," his ex-wife, Flynn Pryor, said from her Florida home.

Pryor was regarded early in his career as one of the most foul-mouthed comics in the business, but he gained a wide following for his expletive-filled but universal and frequently personal insights into modern life and race relations.

His audacious style influenced an array of stand-up artists, including Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and Damon Wayans, as well as Robin Williams, David Letterman and others.

A series of hit comedies in the '70s and '80s, as well as filmed versions of his concert performances, helped make him Pryor one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood. He was one of the first black performers to have enough leverage to cut his own Hollywood deals. In 1983, he signed a $40 million, five-year contract with Columbia Pictures.

His films included "Stir Crazy," "Silver Streak," "Which Way Is Up?" and "Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip."

Throughout his career, Pryor focused on racial inequality, once joking as the host of the 1977 Academy Awards that Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier were the only black members of the Academy.

Pryor once marveled "that I live in racist America and I'm uneducated, yet a lot of people love me and like what I do, and I can make a living from it. You can't do much better than that."

In 1980, he nearly lost his life when he suffered severe burns over 50 percent of his body while freebasing cocaine at his home. An admitted "junkie" at the time, Pryor spent six weeks recovering from the burns and much longer from drug and alcohol dependence.

He battled multiple sclerosis throughout the '90s.

In his last movie, the 1991 bomb "Another You," Pryor's poor health was clearly evident.

Pryor made a comeback attempt the following year, returning to standup comedy in clubs and on television while looking thin and frail, and with noticeable speech and movement difficulties.

In 1995, he played an embittered multiple sclerosis patient in an episode of the television series "Chicago Hope." The role earned him an Emmy nomination as best guest actor in a drama series.

"To be diagnosed was the hardest thing because I didn't know what they were talking about," he said. "And the doctor said 'Don't worry, in three months you'll know.'

"So I went about my business and then, one day, it jumped me. I couldn't get up. ... Your muscles trick you; they did me."

While Pryor's material sounds modest when compared with some of today's raunchier comedians, it was startling material when first introduced. He never apologized for it.

In his 1977 NBC television series "The Richard Pryor Show," he threatened to cancel his contract with the network after NBC's censors objected to a skit in which Pryor appeared naked save for a flesh-colored loincloth to suggest he was emasculated.

In his later years Pryor mellowed considerably, and his film roles looked more like easy paychecks than artistic endeavors. His robust work gave way to torpid efforts like "Harlem Nights," "Brewster's Millions" and "See No Evil, Here No Evil."

Pryor was married six times. He and Flynn Pryor had a son, Steven. Previous children included another son, Richard, and daughters Elizabeth, Rain and Renee.

Daughter Rain became an actress. In an interview in 2005, she told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her father always "put his life right out there for you to look at. I took that approach because I saw how well audiences respond to it. I try to make you laugh at life."




Wow, this sucks. I'm still in shock and at a loss for words. A legend in comedy was lost today, what more can I say.

RIP Richard, may you fly with the Angels.




Sutter

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#120039 - 12/10/05 08:32 PM Re: Richard Pryor Dies
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13337
Loc: Iowa
We were just talking at work Friday about our favorite comedians. I mentioned that Richard was one of my favorites. Many of the youngsters, 30 and under, I work with can't appreciate how talented Richard was at is work. I saw him live once, and laughed so hard I cried.

RIP Mr. Pryor


_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#120040 - 12/10/05 08:37 PM Re: Richard Pryor Dies
Sutter Cane Offline
aficionado

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 626
Loc: Wichita, KS
Richard was defiantly a riot on stage, I agree! I got to see him twice and I too laughed so hard my stomach hurt. lol

I enjoyed his movies too, even if they weren't considered blockbusters if ya know what I mean.



Sutter

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#120041 - 12/11/05 12:39 AM Re: Richard Pryor Dies
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Never saw him live but got to listen to him on vinyl. He was HILARIOUS. RIP.

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#120042 - 12/11/05 02:28 AM Re: Richard Pryor Dies
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16280
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia


Here's a memorable quote:

"I'd like to die like my father died. My father died f***ing. My father was 57 when he died. The woman was 18. My father came and went at the same time."
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#120043 - 12/11/05 02:30 AM Re: Richard Pryor Dies
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16280
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
and another:

"When I did cocaine, I felt like a new man.
And he wanted some too."
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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