Richard Widmark (December 26, 1914 - March 24, 2008) was an Academy Award-nominated American film actor.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Widmark has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6800 Hollywood Boulevard. In 2002, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Death of Richard Widmark Richard Widmark was 93 years old at the time of his death. Richard's wife stated that he had a fractured a vertebra recently which worsened his condition. We don't know the exact cause of his death. But Richard Widmark had an illness for a long time.
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Biography Widmark grew up in Princeton, Illinois, and attended Lake Forest College, where he studied acting. He taught acting at the college after graduation, before debuting on radio in 1938 in Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories. He appeared on Broadway in 1943 in Kiss and Tell. He was unable to join the military during World War II because of a perforated eardrum.
Widmark's first movie appearance was in 1947's Kiss of Death, as the giggling, sociopathic villain Tommy Udo. His most notorious scene in the film found Udo pushing a wheelchair-bound old woman (played by Mildred Dunnock) down a flight of stairs to her death. Kiss of Death was a commercial and critical success, and started Widmark's seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won the Golden Globe Award for New Star Of The Year - Actor for his performance. Widmark's character was also the inspiration for the song, "The Ballad of Tommy Udo", by the band Kaleidoscope.
In 1950, Widmark co-starred with Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Jack Palance and Zero Mostel in Elia Kazan's Panic in the Streets, and with Gene Tierney in Jules Dassin's Night and the City, which are considered classic examples of film noir. Two years later, in 1952, Widmark had his handprints cast in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. During his stint at Fox, he appeared in The Street with No Name and Don't Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe among other projects. His later filmography includes Vincente Minnelli's 1955 cult film The Cobweb with Lauren Bacall.
Personal Life Widmark was married to his first wife, Jean Hazlewood, a writer, for almost 55 years, from April 5, 1942 until her death on March 2, 1997. Their daughter, Anne Heath Widmark, an artist and author, married baseball legend Sandy Koufax on January 1, 1969 (but divorced in 1982). In September 1999, Widmark married Susan Blanchard, who earlier was Henry Fonda's third wife. From the 1950s until his death on March 24, 2008, Widmark resided in Roxbury, Connecticut.
Kiss of Death (1947) The Street with No Name (1948) Road House (1948) Yellow Sky (1948) Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) Slattery's Hurricane (1949) Night and the City (1950) Panic in the Streets (1950) No Way Out (1950) Halls of Montezuma (1950) The Frogmen (1951) Red Skies of Montana (1952) Don't Bother to Knock (1952) O. Henry's Full House (1952) My Pal Gus (1952) Destination Gobi (1953) Pickup on South Street (1953) Take the High Ground! (1953) Hell and High Water (1954) Garden of Evil (1954) Broken Lance (1954) A Prize of Gold (1955) The Cobweb (1955) Backlash (1956) Run for the Sun (1956) The Last Wagon (1956) Saint Joan (1957) Time Limit (1957) The Law and Jake Wade (1958) The Tunnel of Love (1958) The Trap (1959) Warlock (1959) The Alamo (1960) The Secret Ways (1961) Two Rode Together (1961) Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) How the West Was Won (1962) The Long Ships (1964) Flight from Ashiya (1964) Cheyenne Autumn (1964) The Bedford Incident (1965) Alvarez Kelly (1966) The Way West (1967) Madigan (1968) A Talent for Loving (1969) Death of a Gunfighter (1969) The Moonshine War (1970) Murder on the Orient Express (1974) To the Devil a Daughter (1976) The Sell-Out (1976) Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) The Domino Principle (1977) Rollercoaster (1977) Coma (1978) The Swarm (1978) Bear Island (1979) National Lampoon Goes to the Movies (1982) Hanky Panky (1982) Who Dares Wins (1982) Against All Odds (1984) True Colors (1991) Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1996) (documentary)
Roy Richard Scheider (November 10, 1932 - February 10, 2008) was an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-nominated American actor.
Death of Roy Scheider In 2004, Roy Scheider was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. In June 2005, he underwent a bone marrow transplant to successfully treat the cancer which was classified as being in partial remission. He died February 10, 2008 in Little Rock, Arkansas of complications from a staph infection Roy Scheider was 75 years old at the time of his death.
Biography Scheider was born in Orange, New Jersey. As a child Scheider was an athlete, participating in organized baseball and boxing competitions. He attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1985. He traded his boxing gloves for the stage, studying drama at both Rutgers University and Franklin and Marshall College, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. After three years in the United States Air Force, he appeared with the New York Shakespeare Festival, and won an Obie Award in 1968
Roy Scheider's first marriage was to Cynthia Bebout on November 8, 1962. The couple had one daughter, Maximillia, before divorcing in 1989. On February 11, 1989, he married his current wife, actress Brenda Siemer Scheider, with whom he has a son, Christian, and a daughter, Molly.
Film roles Scheider's first film role was in the 1963 horror film Curse of the Living Corpse. (He was billed as "Roy R. Sheider"). In 1971 he appeared in two highly popular movies, Klute and The French Connection, the latter garnering him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Four years later he portrayed Chief Martin Brody in the Hollywood blockbuster Jaws. In 1976 he starred as Doc, a secret agent in Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier. In 1983 he starred in Blue Thunder, a John Badham film about a technologically advance attack helicopter prowling the skies of Los Angeles. This was followed by appearing in Peter Hyams' 2010: The Year We Make Contact, a 1984 sequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Four years after he appeared in Jaws, he was nominated for his second Academy Award, this time as Best Actor in All That Jazz.
He was originally cast as Michael in The Deer Hunter, as the second movie of a three movie deal with Universal Studios. However, bound by a Universal contract to make a Jaws sequel, he was deprived of the role.
Scheider went on to star in films such as The Myth of Fingerprints (1997) and Silver Wolf (1998).
Other appearances In 1993, Scheider signed on to star in the Steven Spielberg-produced television series seaQuest DSV. During the second season, Scheider voiced disdain for the direction in which the series was heading. His comments were highly publicized and the media criticized him for panning his own show. NBC made additional casting and writing changes in the third season, and Scheider decided to exit the show. His contract however, required that he make several guest appearances in season three.
He has also repeatedly guest starred on the NBC television series Third Watch. Among his most recent films is the crusty father of hero Frank Castle in The Punisher (2004).
Scheider also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in the tenth (1984-1985) season (musical guest: Billy Ocean) and appeared on the Family Guy episode Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey voicing himself as the host of a toilet-training video.
In 2007, Scheider received one of two annually-presented Lifetime Achievement Awards at the SunDeis Film Festival in Waltham, Massachusetts. (Academy Award winner Patricia Neal was the recipient of the other.)
Scheider guest-starred in an episode Law & Order: Criminal Intent as a death row inmate on May 14, 2007.
Filmography The Curse of the Living Corpse (1964) Paper Lion (1968) Stiletto (1969) Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1969) Loving (1970) Klute (1971) The French Connection (1971) The Seven-Ups (1973) Jaws (1975) Marathon Man (1976) Sorcerer (1977) Jaws 2 (1978) Last Embrace (1979) All That Jazz (1979) Still of the Night (1982) Blue Thunder (1983) Tiger Town (1983) 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984) The Men's Club (1986) 52 Pick-Up (1986) Cohen and Tate (1988) Listen to Me (1989) Night Game (movie) (1989) The Fourth War (1989) The Russia House (1990) Somebody has to Shoot the Picture (1990) Naked Lunch (1991) Wild Justice (1993) seaQuest DSV (1993) (television series) Romeo is Bleeding (1994) The Peacekeeper (1996) Executive Target (1997) The Myth of Fingerprints (1997) The Rainmaker (1997) The Rage (1997) Plato's Run (1997) Evasive Action (1998) RKO 281 (1999) Falling Through (2000) Daybreak (2000) The Doorway (2000) Texas 46 (2002) aka The Good War (USA) Dracula II: Ascension (2003) The Punisher (2004) Dark Honeymoon (2007) The Poet (2007) Iron Cross (2007)
Robert Gerard Goulet (November 26, 1933 – October 30, 2007) was a Grammy and Tony Award-winning American-Canadian entertainer.
Goulet rose to international stardom in 1960 as Lancelot in Lerner and Loewe's hit Broadway musical Camelot. His long career as a singer and actor encompassed theatre, radio, television and film.
Robert Goulet death Robert Goulet was died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Robert Goulet was 73 years old at the time of his death.
On September 30, 2007, Robert Goulet was hospitalized in Las Vegas, where he was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, "a rare but rapidly progressive and potentially fatal condition." On October 13 he was transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after it was determined he "would not survive without an emergency lung transplant." Goulet died on October 30, 2007, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, while awaiting a lung transplant.
Richard Bell (March 5, 1946 - June 15, 2007) was a Canadian musician. Known for his session and live performance work, he is perhaps best remembered as the pianist for Janis Joplin and her Full Tilt Boogie Band and was a keyboardist with The Band during the 1990s.
Death of Richard Bell Bell died after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer, on June 15, 2007 in a Toronto hospital. Richard Bell was 61 years old at the time of his death.
Robert Bernard Altman (February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his work with an Academy Honorary Award.
His films MASH and Nashville have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
Death of Robert Altman Altman died on November 20, 2006 at age 81 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles. According to his production company in New York, Sandcastle 5 Productions, he died of complications from leukemia. Altman is survived by his wife, Kathryn Reed Altman; six children, Christine Westphal, Michael Altman, Stephen Altman (his set decorator of choice for many films), Connie Corriere, Robert Reed Altman and Matthew Altman; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren
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Motion pictures The Delinquents (1956) (Altman's big-screen directorial debut) The James Dean Story (1957) (documentary) (co-dir: George W. George) The Katherine Reed Story (1965) (short documentary) Pot au feu (1965) (short) Girl Talk (1966) (ColorSonics short starring Bobby Troup) The Party (1966) (ColorSonics short starring Robert Fortier) Speak Low (1966) (ColorSonics short starring Lili St. Cyr) Ebb Tide (1966) (ColorSonics short starring Lili St. Cyr) Countdown (1968) That Cold Day in the Park (1969) MASH (1970) Brewster McCloud (1970) McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) Images (1972) The Long Goodbye (1973) Thieves Like Us (1974) California Split (1974) Nashville (1975) Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) 3 Women (aka Robert Altman's 3 Women) (1977) A Wedding (1978) Quintet (1979) A Perfect Couple (1979) Health (1980) Popeye (1980) Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982) Streamers (1983) Secret Honor (1984) O.C. & Stiggs (1984) (released in 1987) Fool for Love (1985) Beyond Therapy (1987) Aria (1987) - segment: Les Boréades Vincent and Theo (1990) The Player (1992) Short Cuts (1993) Prêt-à-Porter also known as Ready to Wear (1994) Kansas City (1996) The Gingerbread Man (1998) Cookie's Fortune (1999) Dr. T & the Women (2000) Gosford Park (2001) The Company (2003) A Prairie Home Companion (2006), also distributed as The Last Show
Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was a highly successful and influential basketball coach of the Washington Capitols, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and the Boston Celtics. After he retired from coaching, he served as president and front office executive of the Celtics right up until his death. As a coach, he won 938 games (a record at his retirement) and 9 National Basketball Association (NBA) championships, a coaching record shared with Phil Jackson. As general manager and team president of the Celtics, he won an additional 7 NBA titles, for a grand total of 16 in a span of 29 years, making him one of the most successful team officials ever in the history of North American professional sports
Death of Red Auerbach On October 28, 2006, Auerbach died of a heart attack. NBA commissioner David Stern said "the void by his death will never be filled" and ex-players Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, John Havlicek and Larry Bird as well as contemporaries like Jerry West, Pat Riley and Wayne Embry universally hailed Auerbach as one of the greatest personalities in NBA history. Auerbach was survived by his two daughters, Nancy and Randy. Auerbach was buried in Falls Church, Virginia at the King David Memorial Gardens / National Memorial Park on October 31, 2006.
Red Buttons (February 5, 1919 – July 13, 2006) was an American comedian and actor.
Death of Red Buttons Red Buttons died of vascular disease on July 13, 2006 at his home in the Century City area of Los Angeles. Red Buttons was 87 years old. Buttons had been ill for some time and was with family members when he passed away
Early life Red Buttons was born Aaron Chwatt on February 5, 1919 in New York City to Jewish immigrants. At sixteen years old, Buttons got a job as an entertaining bellhop at Ryan's Tavern in City Island, Bronx. The combination of his red hair and the shiny buttoned bellhop uniform inspired orchestra leader Charles "Dinty" Moore to call him Red Buttons, the name under which he would later perform.
Later that same summer, Buttons worked on the Borscht Belt; his straight man was Robert Alda. In 1939, Buttons started working for Minsky's Burlesque; in 1941, José Ferrer chose Buttons to appear in a Broadway show The Admiral Had a Wife. The show was a farce set in Pearl Harbor, and it was due to open on December 8, 1941. It never did, as it was deemed inappropriate after the Japanese attack. In later years Buttons would joke that the Japanese only attacked Pearl Harbor to keep him off Broadway.
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Career In September 1942, Buttons at last got his Broadway debut in Vickie with Ferrer and Uta Hagen. Later that year, he appeared in the Minsky's show Wine, Women and Song; this was the last Burlesque show in New York City history, as the Mayor La Guardia administration closed it down. Buttons was on stage when the show was raided.
1943 saw Buttons in the Army Air Corps. He was chosen to appear in the Broadway show Winged Victory, as well as appearing in the Darryl F. Zanuck movie version. He later went on to entertain troops in the European Theater of operations in the same unit as Mickey Rooney.
After the war, Buttons continued to do Broadway shows. He also performed at Broadway movie houses with the Big Bands. In 1952, Buttons received his own variety series on television - The Red Buttons Show ran for three years, and achieved high levels of success. His catch phrase from the show, "strange things are happening," entered the national vocabulary briefly in the mid-1950s.
His role in Sayonara was a dramatic departure from his previous work. In that film, he played Joe Kelly, an American airman stationed in Kobe, Japan during the Korean War, who falls in love with Katsumi, a Japanese woman (played by Miyoshi Umeki), but is barred from marrying her by military rules intended to reassure the local populace that the U.S. presence is temporary. His portrayal of Kelly's calm resolve not to abandon the relationship and touching reassurance of Katsumi impressed audiences and critics alike; both he and Umeki won Academy Awards for the film. After his Oscar-winning role, Buttons performed in numerous feature films, including Hatari!, The Longest Day, Harlow, The Poseidon Adventure, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Pete's Dragon, and 18 Again! with George Burns. Buttons also made many memorable TV appearances on programs including Little House on the Prairie, It's Garry Shandling's Show, ER and Roseanne.
He became a nationally recognizable comedian, and his "Never Got A Dinner" sketch was a standard at the Dean Martin roasts for many years.
Number 71 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time, Buttons received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television, located at 1651 Vine Street.
Personal life Buttons was married to actress Roxanne Arlen in 1947, but it soon ended in divorce. His next marriage was to Helayne McNorton, from December 8, 1949 until 1963. His last marriage was to Alicia Pratt, which lasted from January 27, 1964 until her death in March 2001. Buttons had two children, daughter Amy Buttons and son Adam Buttons. He was the advertising spokesman for the Century Village, Florida retirement community.
Buttons was an early member of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts, and at the time, Rabbi Jerome cutler was the Rabbi.
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)
Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Hollywood in the 1930s, where he became an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric. Reagan became involved in politics during his work for G.E. and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California Governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.
Death Reagan died at his home in Bel-Air, California, at 1:00 PM PDT on June 5, 2004. A short time after his death, Nancy Reagan released a statement saying: "My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has passed away after 10 years of Alzheimer's Disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone's prayers." Reagan's body was taken to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California later in the day, where well-wishers paid tribute by laying flowers and American flags in the grass. On June 7, his body was removed and taken to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where a brief family funeral service was held. His body lay in repose in the Library lobby until June 9; over 100,000 people viewed the coffin
Roebuck "Pops" Staples (December 28, 1914 – December 19, 2000) was a Mississippi-born Gospel and R&B musician. He was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer. He was the patriarch and member of singing group The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha.
Biography Roebuck Staples was born on a cotton plantation near Winona, Mississippi, the youngest of 14 children. When growing up he heard, and began to play with, local blues guitarists such as Charlie Patton, who lived on the nearby Dockery Plantation, Robert Johnson, and Son House.. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and sang with a gospel group before marrying and moving to Chicago in 1935.
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There he sang with the Trumpet Jubilees, while working in the stockyards, in construction work, and later in a steel mill. In 1948 he formed The Staple Singers to sing as a gospel group in local churches, with him singing and playing guitar behind his children. They first recorded in the early 1950s for United and then the larger Vee-Jay Records, with songs including "This May Be The Last Time" (later covered by The Rolling Stones) and "Uncloudy Day".
In the 1960s the Staples Singers moved to Riverside Records and later Stax Records, and began recording protest, inspirational and contemporary music, reflecting the civil rights and anti-war movements of the time. They gained a large new audience with the 1972 US # 1 hit "I'll Take You There", followed by "Respect Yourself", "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)", and other hits. Pops Staples also recorded an instrumental blues album, Jammed Together, with fellow guitarists Albert King and Steve Croppe.
After Mavis left for a solo career in the 1980s, Pops Staples began a solo career, appearing at international "blues" festivals (though steadfastly refusing to sing the blues), and tried his hand at acting. His 1992 album Peace to the Neighborhood won a Grammy nomination, and in 1995 he won a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for Father, Father.
In 1986, Roebuck played the role of Mr. Tucker, a voodoo witch doctor, in the Talking Heads film True Stories.
In 1998 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1999 the Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Richard Clare "Rick" Danko (December 29, 1942 – December 10, 1999) was a Canadian musician and singer, best known as a member of The Band.
Death of Richard Danko Richard Danko was died of Heart Failure on December 10, 1999. Richare Danko was almost 57 years old at the time of his death.
Discography 1977: Rick Danko 1991: Danko/Fjeld/Andersen (with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen) 1994: Ridin' on the Blinds (with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen) 1997: Rick Danko in Concert 1999: Live on Breeze Hill 2000: Times Like These 2002: One More Shot (with Jonas Fjeld and Eric Andersen) 2005: Cryin' Heart Blues
River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 - October 31, 1993) was an American film actor. He was listed on John Willis's Screen World, Vol. 38 as one of twelve "promising new actors of 1986", and was hailed as highly talented by such critics as Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. He was the older brother of actors Joaquin Phoenix and Summer Phoenix.
River Phoenix's Cause of Death On October 31, 1993, Phoenix collapsed from a drug overdose of heroin and cocaine (known as a speedball) outside the Viper Room, a Hollywood night club partially owned by actor Johnny Depp until 2004. On the night of Phoenix's death, River was to perform onstage with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. At some point in the evening Phoenix went to the bathroom to take drugs with various friends and dealers. It is reported that an acquaintance offered him some Persian Brown (a powerful form of methamphetamine mixed with opiates, which is then snorted) and soon after consuming the drug he became ill. Upon leaving The Viper Room, he collapsed onto the sidewalk and began convulsing for eight minutes. His brother Joaquin, sister Rain and actress Samantha Mathis were at the scene. Joaquin dialed 911; during the call Joaquin was unable to determine whether River was breathing. River had, in fact, already stopped breathing. Paramedics arrived on the scene and found Phoenix in asystole (flatline), when they administered drugs in an attempt to restart his heart. He was rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center via an ambulance. Further attempts to resuscitate Phoenix (including the insertion of a pacemaker) were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. PST on the morning of October 31, 1993.
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