Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, and performer. The daughter of Nat King Cole, Natalie rose to musical success in the mid-1970s as an R&B artist with the hits "This Will Be", "Inseparable", and "Our Love". After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album, Everlasting, and her cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac". In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable... with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.
Natalie Cole cause of death
Cole canceled several events in December 2015 due to illness. It was reported on January 1, 2016, that Cole had died. Her publicist stated Cole died on December 31, 2015 but gave no details as to cause or place of death. Her family told reporters that she died at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles of complications from ongoing health issues.
Gary Dean Richrath (October 18, 1949 - September 13, 2015) was an American guitarist, best known as the lead guitarist and a songwriter for the band REO Speedwagon from 1970 until 1989.
Richrath wrote many of the REO's songs including "Golden Country" from 1972, Ridin' the Storm Out (1973), "Son of a Poor Man" (1973), "Flying Turkey Trot" (1976), "Only the Strong Survive" (1979) and "Take It On the Run" from 1981. In 1977, he and other members of the band took over production, which resulted in the band's first platinum album.
Richrath sang several REO Speedwagon songs including "Find My Fortune" (1973), "Wild as the Western Wind" (1974) and "(Only A) Summer Love" (1976). He left REO Speedwagon in 1989, and released a solo album titled Only the Strong Survive in 1992 under the name "Richrath."
Gary Richrath died on September 13, 2015. Cause of death is unknown. He was 65.
REO Speedwagon - Ridin' the Storm Out (1981). Gary Richrath on lead guitar.
*Tommy was the last of the original members of Ramones.
Thomas Erdelyi (born Erdélyi Tamás; January 29, 1949 – July 11, 2014), also known by his stage name Tommy Ramone, was a Hungarian American record producer and musician. He was the drummer of the influential punk rock band the Ramones.
Tommy Ramone cause of death
Tommy Ramone died at his home in Queens, New York City, on July 11, 2014. He had been receiving hospice care following unsuccessful treatment for cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). Tommy Ramone was 65 years old at the time of his death.
Ramones - Loudmouth (1975 Live in Japanese TV). Tommy Ramone on drums
Roger Hill (July 31, 1948 – February 20, 2014) was an American actor. A lifelong New Yorker, Roger Hill spent most of his 20-year career in theater.
Hill played the role of Cyrus in the 1979 film The Warriors. He also portrayed the character of Lil John in the 1974 film The Education of Sonny Carson, and took on the role of Ernest Clay in the 1976 TV Movie Hazzard's People starring John Houseman. After his work in The Warriors, Hill performed in the ABC Daytime soap opera One Life to Live playing the part of Alex Lowndes from 1983-1984.
Hill was chosen to portray the doomed gang lord Cyrus in The Warriors after the original actor chosen for the part, a real life gang leader, mysteriously disappeared just before filming started.
In 2006, Hill filed a lawsuit of $250,000 against Take-Two for using his voice and depiction in the Warriors video game. He claimed that it would not have been difficult for Take-Two to pay, since the game made $37 million. A spokesman for Take-Two stated that the company "has a valid third-party license for the rights to use Roger Hill's likeness and the character of Cyrus in The Warriors video game and related marketing materials".
Hill was the father of Big Brother editor, Chris W. Hill.
Roger Hill cause of death.
The cause of death was not disclosed. Roger Hill was 65 years old at the time of his death.
Richard Griffiths, OBE (July 31, 1947 – March 28, 2013) was an English actor of stage, film and television. He received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, all for his role in the play The History Boys. He was also known for his portrayal of Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films, Uncle Monty in Withnail and I, Henry Crabbe in Pie in the Sky, and King George II in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He also appeared in Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning 1982 film Gandhi portraying the role of a British journalist.
Griffiths' film roles were in both contemporary and period pieces such as Gorky Park (1983), Withnail and I (1987), King Ralph (1991), The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991), Guarding Tess (1994) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Later, he was seen as Harry Potter's cruel uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series.
Richard Griffiths cause of death
Richard Griffiths died at the University Hospital Coventry on 28 March 2013 from complications following heart surgery. Richard Griffiths was 65 years old at the time of his death.
Major Harris III (February 9, 1947 – November 9, 2012) was an American R&B singer, associated with the Philadelphia soul sound and The Delfonics (early 1970s-1974).
In the early 1970s, he took over from Randy Cain as a member of The Delfonics; he quit the group to go solo in 1974. Signing with Atlantic Records, Harris scored a string of R&B hits in the United States, including the Top Ten single "Love Won't Let Me Wait", which peaked at #5 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #37 in the UK Top 50. Written by Bobby Eli and Vinnie Barrett, "Love Won't Let Me Wait" was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. on 25 June 1975.
When his success as a soloist subsided, Harris returned to the Delfonics, and continued to tour with one of two touring ensembles that used the name in the 1990s and 2000s. Major was a cousin to the late Philadelphia record producer and arranger, Norman Harris.
Harris died in a Richmond, Virginia hospital from congestive heart and lung failure at the age of 65
Lawrence Vonetta McGee (January 14, 1945 – July 9, 2010) was an American actress.
Vonenna McGee became well-known for her parts in the 1972 Blaxploitation films Melinda and Hammer.
In the action thriller Shaft in Africa (1973), McGee took the role of Aleme, the daughter of an emir, who teaches John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) Ethiopian geography. She also starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the action thriller The Eiger Sanction (1975).
Death of Vonetta McGee In 1987, McGee married the actor Carl Lumbly; they have one child. McGee passed away from a cardiac arrest on July 9, 2010.
MOSCOW (AFP) — Oleg Yankovsky (February 23, 1944 - May 20, 2009) a popular Russian actor best known internationally for his work with dissident Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, died of cancer Wednesday aged 65.
Yankovsky died early Wednesday morning after a long battle with the illness, said Yulia Kosereva, a spokeswoman for Moscow's Lenkom theatre where the actor had worked since 1973.
"He had cancer. He had been fighting it for more than half a year," Kosereva told AFP.
The renowned stage and screen actor was born in 1944 in Kazakhstan after his family was exiled there under the brutal dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. His father died in a Gulag labour camp in the Central Asian republic.
Yankovsky left Kazakhstan in his youth and received a drama education in the southern Russian city of Saratov before being invited to join the troupe of Lenkom, one of Moscow's top theatres.
Tall with an aristocratic manner, Yankovsky appeared in scores of films starting in the 1960s and was beloved by Soviet and Russian audiences.
Internationally, Yankovsky was perhaps best known for his roles in two films by art-house master Tarkovsky, "The Mirror" and "Nostalgia," the latter of which was filmed in Italy.
The actor died just as his last film -- "Tsar," a historical epic about Russia's infamous 16th-century ruler Ivan the Terrible -- was on the programme at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said he and his family were "shaken" by Yankovsky's death.
"For many years we were friends with him. We loved him as an actor -- an actor who was undoubtedly extraordinary -- and respected him very much as a person," Gorbachev was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.
Yankovsky's funeral was set to take place on Friday, said Lenkom spokeswoman Kosereva.
The actor is to be buried at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, one of the most prestigious graveyards in Russia and the final resting place of many other artists and authors including playwright Anton Chekhov.
Dennis Yost passed away of respiratory failure, on December 7, 2008, at the age of 65
Dennis Yost was a singer & a drummer of Classics IV, a pop rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, in 1965. Their signature songs include "Spooky" and "Stormy".
Dennis Yost became seriously ill. On July 11, 2006, while recovering at home in a suburb of Cincinnati, Yost fell down a flight of stairs and suffered serious brain trauma. Although Yost subsequently underwent a significant amount of rehabilitation, he was never again able to perform. Since Yost's unique voice was integral to the Classics IV sound, his injury effectively placed the group on hiatus.
To assist Yost and his wife with their medical bills, a benefit concert was held on March 25, 2007, at Rhino's Live in Cincinnati, Ohio, the benefit was originally thought up by Yost's close friend Jon "Bowser" Bauman. Many musical entertainers and some surprise guests from the 1950’s through the 70’s performed some of their biggest chart-topping hits in tribute to Dennis Yost, backed by local favorites, BlueStone Ivory and Classics IV guitarist Brian Correll. An interesting note to the benefit concert is that it didn't benefit Dennis or his wife financially. Without question the benefit was a huge boost for Dennis allowing him to see and visit with so many old friends, but the expenses far exceeded the money raised leaving the whole event in the red.
Dennis Yost passed away of respiratory failure, on December 7, 2008, at the age of 65
Norman Jesse Whitfield (943 – September 16, 2008) was an American songwriter and producer, best known for his work with Berry Gordy's Motown label during the 1960s. He is credited as being one of the creators of the Motown Sound, as well as one of the major instrumental figures in the late-60s sub-genre of psychedelic soul.
Whitfield died on September 16, 2008 after a long bout with diabetes, among other illnesses.
Richard William Wright (July 28, 1943 - September 15, 2008) was a self-taught pianist and keyboardist best known for his long career with Pink Floyd. Though not as prolific a songwriter as his bandmates Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, he wrote significant parts of the music for classic albums such as Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, as well as for Pink Floyd's final studio album The Division Bell. Wright’s richly textured keyboard layers were a vital ingredient and a distinctive characteristic of Pink Floyd's sound. In addition, Wright frequently sang background and occasionally lead vocals onstage and in the studio with Pink Floyd (most notably on the songs "Time," "Echoes," and on the Syd Barrett composition "Astronomy Domine").
Death of Richard Wright Richard Wright died of cancer on 15 September 2008. Richard Wright was 65 years old at the time of his death
* Younger generation people know him as a voice of "Chef" from "South park"
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008) was an American soul and funk singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger, composer and actor. Hayes was one of the main creative forces behind southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served as both an in-house songwriter and producer with partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. In the late 1960s, Hayes became a recording artist, and recorded successful soul albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971) as the Stax label's premier artist.
Death of Isaac Hayes Isaac Hayes was found dead in his home located just east of Memphis, Tennessee on August 10, 2008 as reported by the Shelby County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Department. A Shelby County Sheriff's deputy responded to Hayes' home after his wife found him on the floor near a still-running treadmill. Hayes was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronounced dead at 2:08pm.
2 days later (August 12, 2008) Isaac hayes' death was officially filed as a stroke brought on by chronic hypertension. Isaac Hayes was 65 years of at the time of his death.
Tamara "Tammy" Faye Messner (March 7, 1942 – July 20, 2007) was an American Christian singer, evangelist, entrepreneur, author, talk show host, and television personality. She was the former wife of televangelist, and later convicted felon, Jim Bakker, and she co-hosted with him on The PTL Club from 1976 to 1987. She was known for her tendency to wear heavy makeup, particularly mascara and false eyelashes, and her eyebrows were tattooed on. She was a participant in the 2004 season of the reality show, The Surreal Life.
Death On July 20, 2007 at 4 AM,Tammy Faye Messner died following her 11-year battle with cancer. Tammy Faye Bakker was 65 years old at the time of her death. What had started as colon cancer, spread to her lungs. She died in her home, said her booking agent, Joe Spotts. A family service was held the morning of July 21 in the Messner family plot in Waldron, Kansas, where her ashes were interred. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Randy McCain, the gay pastor of Open Door Community Church in Sherwood, Arkansas. She had frequently spoken about her medical problems, saying she hoped to be an inspiration to others. "Don't let fear rule your life," she said. "Live one day at a time, and never be afraid." She had written on her web site in May that the doctors had stopped trying to treat the cancer. She died the day after the airing of her interview on Larry King Live on CNN. According to CNN.com, the family requested that King officially report the news on his show July 21
Edward Rudolph Bradley, Jr. (June 22, 1941 – November 9, 2006) was an American journalist, best known for 26 years of award-winning work on the CBS News television magazine 60 Minutes. During his earlier career he also covered the fall of Saigon, was the first black television correspondent to cover the White House, and anchored his own news broadcast, "CBS Sunday Night with Ed Bradley." He was the recipient of multiple awards, including 19 Emmy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Death of Ed Bradley In the company of his longtime friend Jimmy Buffett, Bradley died on November 9, 2006 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan of complications from leukemia.He was sixty-five.
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor, and writer.
Pryor was a storyteller known for unflinching examinations of racism and customs in modern life, and was well-known for his frequent use of colorful language, vulgarities, and racial epithets such as "nigger", "honky," "cracker," and "motherfucker." He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations, although public opinion of his act was often divided. He is commonly regarded as the most important stand up comedian of his time: Jerry Seinfeld called Pryor "The Picasso of our profession"; Whoopi Goldberg cited him as her biggest influence, stating "The major influence was Richard - I want to say those things he's saying." Bob Newhart has called Pryor "the seminal comedian of the last 50 years."
Death of Richard Pryor Ricahrd Pryor died of cardiac arrest in Encino, California. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 7:58 a.m. PST. Richard Pryor was 65 years old at the time of his death.He was brought to the hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. His wife Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face."
His body of work includes such concert movies and recordings as Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin' (1971), That Nigger's Crazy (1974), ...Is It Something I Said? (1975), Bicentennial Nigger (1976), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979), Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) and Richard Pryor: Here and Now. He also starred in numerous films as an actor, usually in comedies such as Silver Streak, but occasionally in dramatic roles, such as Paul Schrader's film Blue Collar and epic roles like Gus Gorman from Superman III (1983). He also collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. He won an Emmy Award in 1973, and 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. In 2004, Pryor was voted the greatest stand-up act of all time by Comedy Central.
Early life and career Born on December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois, Pryor grew up in his grandmother's brothel, where his mother, Gertrude L. Thomas, practiced prostitution. His father, LeRoy "Buck" Pryor (a.k.a. Buck Carter) was a former bartender, boxer, and World War II veteran who worked as his wife's pimp. After his mother deserted him when he was 10, he was raised primarily by his grandmother, Marie Carter. As a small child, Pryor was molested by a neighbor and a priest.
He was expelled from school at age 14, and began working various odd jobs. His first professional performance was playing drums at a night club. From 1958 to 1960, Pryor served in the U.S. Army but spent virtually that entire stint in an army prison. According to a 1999 profile about Pryor in The New Yorker, Pryor was incarcerated for an incident that occurred while stationed in Germany. Annoyed that a white soldier was a bit too amused at the racially charged sections of Douglas Sirk's movie Imitation of Life, Pryor and some other black soldiers beat and stabbed the white soldier (not fatally). According to Live on Sunset Boulevard, when he was nineteen he worked at a Mafia owned nightclub as the MC. Upon hearing that they would not pay a stripper, he attempted to hold up the owners with a cap pistol. They apparently thought he was amusing, though Richard Pryor may have made this story up.
In 1963, Pryor moved to New York City and began performing regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. On one of his first nights he opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone at the Village Gate. Simone recalls Pryor's bout of performance anxiety:
“ He shook like he had malaria, he was so nervous. I couldn't bear to watch him shiver, so I put my arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down. The next night was the same, and the next, and I rocked him each time.”
Inspired by Bill Cosby, Pryor began as a middlebrow comic far less controversial than what was to come. Soon, he began appearing regularly on television variety shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. His popularity led him to become a rather successful comic in Las Vegas. The first five tracks on the 2005 compilation CD Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974), recorded in 1966 and 1967, capture Pryor in this era.
In September 1967, Pryor had what he called in his autobiography Pryor Convictions an "epiphany" when he walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (with Dean Martin in the audience), looked at the sold-out crowd, said over the microphone "What the fuck am I doing here!?", and walked off the stage. Afterward, Pryor began working at least mild profanity into his act, including the word "nigger". His first comedy recording, the eponymous 1968 debut release on the Dove/Reprise label, captures this particular period, tracking the evolution of Pryor's routine. It was around this time that his parents died-his mother in 1967 and his father in 1968. Richard got his familiar nickname at this point of time which is ba-loot.
What he thought was his first child was a girl named Renee. Years later however, he found out that this was not his child. In 1960, he married Patricia Price and they had one child together, Richard Jr. (his first child and first son) They divorced in 1961. In 1967, his second child and first daughter, Elizabeth Ann, was born to his girlfriend Maxine Anderson. Later that year, he married Shelly Bonus. In 1969, his third child and second daughter Rain Pryor was born. Pryor and Bonus divorced later that year.
Mainstream success In 1969, Pryor moved to Berkeley, California, where he immersed himself in the counterculture and rubbed elbows with the likes of Huey P. Newton and Ishmael Reed. He signed with the comedy-centric independent record label Laff Records in 1970 and recorded his second album in 1971, Craps (After Hours). In 1972, the relatively unknown comedian appeared in his first film, a documentary entitled Wattstax, where he riffed on the tragic-comic absurdities of race relations in Watts and the nation. Not long afterward, Pryor sought a deal with a larger label, and after some time, signed with Stax Records. His third, breakthrough album, That Nigger's Crazy, was released in 1974 and, Laff, who claimed ownership of Pryor's recording rights, almost succeeded in getting an injunction to prevent the album from being sold. Negotiations led to Pryor's release from his Laff contract. In return for this concession, Laff was enabled to release previously unissued material, recorded between 1968 and 1973, at will.
During the legal battle, Stax briefly closed its doors. It was at this time that Pryor returned to Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, which re-released That Nigger's Crazy immediately after ...Is It Something I Said?, his first album with his new label. With every successful album Pryor recorded for Warner Bros. (or later, his concert films and his 1980 freebasing accident), Laff would quickly publish an album of older material to capitalize on Pryor's growing fame — a practice the label would continue until 1983.
In the 1970s, he wrote for such television shows as Sanford and Son, The Flip Wilson Show and a Lily Tomlin special, for which he shared an Emmy Award. Pryor also made an attempt to break into mainstream television during this period. In 1974, he was arrested for income tax evasion and served 10 days in jail. He was a guest host on the first season of Saturday Night Live,Richard took long time girlfriend -actress talk show host Kathrine McKee with him to New York,(sister of Lonette McKee) she made a brief guest appearance with Richard on SNL, and his "racist word association" skit with Chevy Chase is frequently cited by TV critics as one of the funniest and most daring skits in SNL history (this sketch was replayed on the Season 31 episode hosted by Alec Baldwin, which first aired on the day Pryor died). The Richard Pryor Show premiered on NBC in 1977 but after only four shows, the series was cancelled. Television was not ready for the show's controversial subject matter, and Pryor was not ready to alter the content of his material to meet the demands of network censors. During the short-lived series, he portrayed the first African-American President of the United States and in another skit, used costumes and visual distortion to appear nude.
In 1977, he married actress Deborah McGuire and they divorced in 1978. He soon began dating Jennifer Lee and they married in 1981. They divorced the following year.
Very successful and towards the height of his success, Pryor visited Africa in 1979. Upon returning to the United States, Pryor swore he would never use the word "nigger" in his stand-up comedy routine again. (His favorite epithet, "motherfucker", remains a term of endearment on his official website.)
In 1983, Pryor signed a five-year contract with Columbia Pictures for $40,000,000. Pryor appeared in several popular films, including Lady Sings the Blues; The Mack; Uptown Saturday Night; Silver Streak; Which Way Is Up?; Car Wash; Superman III (which earned Pryor $4,000,000); Brewster's Millions; Stir Crazy; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; Moving; and See No Evil, Hear No Evil. He also took part in The Toy, one of Jackie Gleason's last projects. Though he made four films with Gene Wilder, the two comic actors were never as close as many thought according to Wilder's autobiography.
Pryor also co-wrote Blazing Saddles directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder. Pryor was to play the lead role of Bart, but the film's production studio would not insure him, and Mel Brooks chose Cleavon Little instead. Before his infamous 1980 freebasing accident, Pryor was about to start filming Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I, but was replaced at the last minute by Gregory Hines. Pryor was also originally considered for the role of Billy Ray Valentine on Trading Places (1983), before Eddie Murphy ultimately won the part.
Despite a reputation for profanity, Pryor briefly hosted a children's show on CBS in 1984 called Pryor's Place. Like Sesame Street, Pryor's Place featured a cast of puppets, hanging out and having fun in a surprisingly friendly inner city environment along with several children and characters portrayed by Pryor himself. However, Pryor's Place frequently dealt with more sobering issues than Sesame Street. It was cancelled shortly after its debut, despite the efforts of famed puppeteers Sid and Marty Krofft and a theme song by Ray Parker Jr. of Ghostbusters fame to ensure its success.
Pryor co-hosted the Academy Awards twice, and was also nominated for an Emmy for a guest role on the television series, Chicago Hope.
The freebasing incident and its aftermath On June 9, 1980, Pryor set himself on fire while freebasing cocaine. He ran down Parthenia Street from his Northridge, California home until subdued by police, with burns having covered over 50 percent of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. Pryor made this part of his heralded "final" stand up show Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982). After joking that the incident was actually caused when he dunked a cookie into a glass containing two different types of milk, he gave a poignant yet funny account of his accident and recovery, then poked fun at people who told jokes about it by waving a lit match and saying "What's this? It's Richard Pryor running down the street." Interviewed in 2005, his wife Jennifer Lee Pryor said that Pryor poured high-proof rum over his body and torched himself in a drug psychosis.His daughter, Rain Pryor also stated this in an interview in People Magazine. In a TV interview with Barbara Walters during his recovery, Pryor said that he tried to commit suicide. He claimed that his managers and lawyers created the "accident" lie in the belief that it would be less damning than a suicide attempt. Regardless of the incident's origins, Pryor continued his tradition of mining comedy out of the most intensely personal events. One of his jokes about this subject was
“ When you're on fire and running down the street, people will get out of your way. ”
Fellow comedian George Carlin made reference to this incident during his Carnegie Hall performance in 1983:
“ An update on the comedian health sweepstakes. I currently lead Richard Pryor in heart attacks 2 to 1. But Richard still leads me 1 to nothing in burning yourself up. See, it happened like this. First Richard had a heart attack. Then I had a heart attack. Then Richard burned himself up. And I said, 'Fuck that. I'm having another heart attack!' ”
He did not stay away from stand-up comedy very long though — in 1983 he filmed and released a new concert film and accompanying album, Here And Now, which he directed himself. He then wrote and directed a fictionalized account of his life, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. Interestingly, Jo Jo Dancer depicted a suicide attempt by the main character in which he douses himself in rum and ignites himself.
In 1984, his fourth child and second son, Steven, was born to his girlfriend Flynn Belaine. Pryor married Belaine in October 1986. They divorced in July 1987. Before their divorce was final, Belaine conceived Kelsey Pryor. Meanwhile, another of Richard's girlfriends, Geraldine Mason gave birth to Franklin Mason in April 1987 (his fifth child and third son). Six months later (October 1987), Belaine gave birth to Kelsey Pryor (Richard's sixth child and third daughter).
Fight with multiple sclerosis In 1991, Pryor announced that he had been suffering from multiple sclerosis since 1986. In response to giving up drugs after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, he said:
“ God gave me this M.S. shit to save my life. ”
In 1992, he gave some final live performances, excerpts of which appear on the ...And It's Deep Too! box set. He continued to make occasional film appearances, pairing with Gene Wilder one last time in the unsuccessful 1991 comedy, Another You (in which his physical deterioration was noted by many critics). His final film appearance was a small role in the David Lynch film Lost Highway in 1997; by then, Pryor was wheelchair bound. His Final episodic Television appearance was on an episode of The Norm Show (AKA "Norm") in 2000, where he had a small role as one of Norm's clients. Afterwards, he was frequently a featured story on Entertainment Tonight until his death.
Marriages Richard Pryor was married seven times to five different women:
Patricia Price (1961 - 1967) (divorced) 1 child Richard Pryor Jr. Shelly Bonus (1967 - 1969) (divorced) 1 child Rain Pryor Deborah McGuire (22 September 1977 - 1979) (divorced) Jennifer Lee (August 1981 - October 1982) (divorced) Flynn Belaine (October 1986 - July 1987) (divorced) 1 child Flynn Belaine (1 April 1990 - July 1991) (divorced) 1 child Jennifer Lee (June 2001 - 10 December 2005) (his death) Each of his marriages was characterised by accusations of domestic violence and spousal abuse except for his relationship with Belaine (with whom there were no allegations of physical abuse); most of the allegations of abuse were connected to Pryor's drug use. The exception to this rule was Patricia Price who was married to Pryor before his rise to stardom. Deborah McGuire accused him of shooting her car with a .357 Magnum , but later dropped the charges (even though this was mentioned during one of Pryor's standup routines, Live in Concert). Lee accused him of beating and attempting to strangle her during their first marriage, and did not share his home after they remarried. During his relationship with actress Pam Grier, Pryor proposed to actress Deborah McGuire (1977).
He had seven children: Renee, Richard Jr, Elizabeth, Rain, Steven, Franklin and Kelsey.
Later life In 1998, Pryor became the first performer to win the inaugural Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. According to Former Kennedy Center President Lawrence J. Wilker,
“ Richard Pryor was selected as the first recipient of the new Mark Twain Prize because as a stand-up comic, writer, and actor, he struck a chord, and a nerve, with America, forcing it to look at large social questions of race and the more tragicomic aspects of the human condition. Though uncompromising in his wit, Pryor, like Twain, projects a generosity of spirit that unites us. They were both trenchant social critics who spoke the truth, however outrageous. ”
In 2000, Rhino Records remastered all of Pryor's Reprise and Warner Bros. albums for inclusion in the box set ...And It's Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992).
In 2001, he remarried Jennifer Lee, who also had become his manager.
In 2002, Pryor and his wife/manager Jennifer Lee Pryor, won the legal rights to all of the Laff material; almost 40 hours of reel-to-reel analog tape. After going through the tapes and getting Richard's blessing, Jennifer Lee Pryor gave Rhino Records access to the Laff tapes in 2004. These tapes, including the entire Craps album, form the basis of the double-CD release Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974).
In 2003, a television documentary, Richard Pryor: I Ain't Dead Yet, , came out. It consisted of archival footage of Pryor's performances and testimonials from fellow comedians such as Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes and Denis Leary of the influence Pryor had on comedy.
In 2004, Pryor was voted #1 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time. In a 2005 British poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, Pryor was voted the 10th greatest comedy act ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
His final performance was at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California.
In his later years, Richard Pryor became a wheelchair user due to multiple sclerosis (M.S., which he said stood for "More Shit"). In late-2004, his sister claimed that Pryor lost his voice. However, on January 9, 2005, Pryor's wife, Jennifer Lee, rebutted this statement in a post on Pryor's official website, citing Richard as saying: "Sick of hearing this shit about me not talking... not true... good days, bad days... but I still am a talkin' motherfucker!"
Pryor was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. The animal rights organization PETA gives out an award in Pryor's name to people who have done outstanding work to alleviate animal suffering. Mr. Pryor was active in animal rights and was deeply concerned about the plight of elephants in circuses and zoos.
Death On December 10, 2005, Pryor died of cardiac arrest in Encino, California. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 7:58 a.m. PST. He died just 9 days after his 65th birthday. He was brought to the hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. His wife Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face."
Discography Richard Pryor (Dove/Reprise, 1968) Craps (After Hours) (Laff Records, 1971, reissued 1993 by Loose Cannon/Island) That Nigger's Crazy, (Partee/Stax, 1974, reissued 1975 by Reprise) ...Is It Something I Said?, (Reprise, 1975, reissued 1991 on CD by Warner Archives) L.A. Jail, (Tiger Lily, 1976) Bicentennial Nigger, (Reprise, 1976) Are You Serious???, (Laff, 1977) Who Me? I'm Not Him, (Laff, 1977) Black Ben The Blacksmith, (Laff, 1978) The title track was first issued as "Prison Play" on Richard Pryor, in spite of Warner Bros.' ownership of that particular master recording. The Wizard Of Comedy, (Laff, 1978) Wanted: Live in Concert (2-LP set), (Warner Bros. Records, 1978) Outrageous, (Laff, 1979) Insane, (Laff, 1980) Holy Smoke!, (Laff, 1980) Rev. Du Rite, (Laff, 1981) Live On The Sunset Strip (Warner Bros. Records, 1982) Richard Pryor Live! (picture disc), (Phoenix/Audiofidelity, 1982) Supernigger, (Laff. 1983) Here And Now, (Warner Bros. Records, 1983)
Filmography The Busy Body (1967) Uncle Tom's Fairy Tales (1968) (unfinished) Wild in the Streets (1968) Black Brigade (1970) The Phynx (1970) Richard Pryor: Live and Smokin' (filmed in 1971, released in 1985) (documentary) You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat (1971) Dynamite Chicken (1972) Lady Sings the Blues (1972) The Mack (1973) Wattstax (1973) (documentary) Hit! (1973) Some Call It Loving (1973) Blazing Saddles (1974) (co-writer) Uptown Saturday Night (1974) The Lion Roars Again (1975) (short subject) Adios Amigo (1976) Car Wash (1976) The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) Silver Streak (1976) Which Way Is Up? (1977) Greased Lightning (1977) Blue Collar (1978) The Wiz (1978) California Suite (1978) Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979) (documentary) The Muppet Movie (1979) (cameo) Wholly Moses (1980) In God We Tru$t (1980) Stir Crazy (1980) Bustin' Loose (1981) Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) (documentary) Some Kind of Hero (1982) The Toy (1982) Superman III (1983) Richard Pryor: Here and Now (1983) (documentary) Brewster's Millions (1985) Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986) (also director and co-writer) Critical Condition (1987) Moving (1988) See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) Harlem Nights (1989) The Three Muscatels (1991) Another You (1991) A Century of Cinema (1994) (documentary) Mad Dog Time (1996) Lost Highway (1997) Bitter Jester (2003) (documentary) I Ain't Dead Yet, #*%$@!! (2003) Richard Pryor: The Funniest Man Dead Or Alive (2005, BET Special)
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