Quantcast

RIP Richard...thanks for the laughs

ridetoofast

scarred, broken and drunk
Mar 31, 2002
2,093
0
crashing at a trail near you...
Richard Pryor Dies at 65
Saturday, December 10, 2005

•
MS 'Helped' Save Richard Pryor's Life
LOS ANGELES — 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.

(Story continues below)

ADVERTISEMENTS
Advertise Here

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 "Hear No Evil, See 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."
 

Skookum

bikey's is cool
Jul 26, 2002
10,189
0
in a bear cave
Man i swear i never feel bad when most celebrities kick the bucket, but it always makes me sad when awesome comedians pass....
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
Not that this is young, but he was only 65. I thought he was much older, but I guess his great success started earlier in life.

My first R-rated movie was Stir Crazy, which my parents took me. I should thank them now.
 

Jeremy R

<b>x</b>
Nov 15, 2001
9,514
585
behind you with a snap pop
Skookum said:
Man i swear i never feel bad when most celebrities kick the bucket, but it always makes me sad when awesome comedians pass....
That because you "know" a comedian like Pryor.
Actors act, they do a job, and you don't really know them.
Pryor opened up his whole life to you on stage, his real life.
His pain, his loves, his flaws, and all his emotions.
Hell, he made a story about lighting himself on fire and almost burning to death, absolutely hilarious.
He was brilliant, and that level of a comedian does not come around very often. Pryor was my all time favorite, and he will be missed.
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
Pryor was definantly one of the funniest comedians out there, and we wouldn't be where we are in comedy now without him. He was a great comedian, and his performances will be around for generations to come!

And Jeremy, i'm sorry to tell you, most of the stuff comedians talk about is not actually their real life. a lot of it is BASED on reality, but.... its not really opening up their whole life. Thats what we call suspention of disbelief ;)

(Sorry if I shattered your dreams)
 

smedford

Monkey
Jan 31, 2004
400
0
Bellingham, WA
BigMike said:
Pryor was definantly one of the funniest comedians out there, and we wouldn't be where we are in comedy now without him. He was a great comedian, and his performances will be around for generations to come!

And Jeremy, i'm sorry to tell you, most of the stuff comedians talk about is not actually their real life. a lot of it is BASED on reality, but.... its not really opening up their whole life. Thats what we call suspention of disbelief ;)

(Sorry if I shattered your dreams)
Actually Prior did open up himself to his audience. He will be missed.
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
smedford said:
Actually Prior did open up himself to his audience. He will be missed.

Yes, I can GUARANTEE a lot of the stuff you think is absolute fact is probably based on a true event, but probably greatly exaggerated. Its just what comedians do. Some of its absolute truth, most of its not

He did seem to be one of the more honest out there, and definanly one of the greats!
 

blt2ride

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2005
2,334
0
Chatsworth
I have a couple of his stand-up shows on DVD. No matter how bad my day is, watching one of Richard's shows will always put me in a better mood. He will be missed...

I saw a news story they did on Ricahrd last night, and I did not know that he had MS, and had spent the last two years in a wheelchair. It's kind of strange, since he lived about 10 minutes away from me, in the San Fernando Valley--he must have spent the last couple of years in seclusion.
 

splat

Nam I am
He was one funny Man!! sad to see him go.

One ofthe Funniest Movies I saw him in wasthet Bomb " Neil Simon's Hotel Suite" he and Bill Cosby Playing tennis , The only good scene from the movie , but man it was hysterical.


ridetoofast said:
MS 'Helped' Save Richard Pryor's Life
I don't understand that Line ? it is the first line in the article , but they do not eloborate on it .
 

Jeremy R

<b>x</b>
Nov 15, 2001
9,514
585
behind you with a snap pop
BigMike said:
And Jeremy, i'm sorry to tell you, most of the stuff comedians talk about is not actually their real life. a lot of it is BASED on reality, but.... its not really opening up their whole life. Thats what we call suspention of disbelief ;)

(Sorry if I shattered your dreams)
And Mike, I'm sorry to tell you, that when you word your post to sound like a condescending know-it-all, it helps when you can actually spell those tough words like "suspension."

(Sorry if I shattered your dreams):blah: :)

Pryor was real,
don't be mad because your favorite comedian Gallagher did not reach the same level of fame.;)
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
Damn Jeremy, ZING!

I wasn't trying to sound like a condescending know-it-all, I promise :)

Just trying to say that not everything a comedian says is true.

and....... Gallagher is not my favorite, Dane Cook is :thumb:

We can continue this discussion on the chair lift at Snowshoe.....:sneaky:
 
Aug 2, 2005
222
0
The Island
Without Richard there could be no Eddie Murphy, no Chris Rock, no Dave Chappelle. He was a true pioneer and a living legend. RIP Richard, the world will be less funny without you.
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
32,250
3,075
BigMike said:
Damn Jeremy, ZING!

I wasn't trying to sound like a condescending know-it-all, I promise :)

Just trying to say that not everything a comedian says is true.

and....... Gallagher is not my favorite, Dane Cook is :thumb:

We can continue this discussion on the chair lift at Snowshoe.....:sneaky:
Uhhmm..him setting himself on fire was real life. Free basing cocaine.
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
Jeremy R said:
Ha, didn't all the smilies give away that I was kidding?:)

See ya in the spring.

Yeah man, I was kidding too, didn't you notice all my smilies? :D



So, everyone out there thats a Pryor fan, what is your favorite act of his?

And does anyone else find it kind of weird that www.richardpryor.com has not been updated yet? It still has email Richard links on it......
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,766
192
NORCAL is the hizzle
splat said:
I don't understand that Line ? it is the first line in the article , but they do not eloborate on it .
I think they are saying that MS forced him to clean up his act with drugs and alcohol, saving him from overdose or abuse-related health issues that might have taken him out earlier.