|Name:||Jennifer Lee Pryor|
|Real Name:||Richard Pryor|
|Birth Day:||December 1, 1940|
|Death Date:||December 10, 2005(2005-12-10) (aged 65)
Encino, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|#6||Stephen Michael Pryor||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#7||Richard Pryor Jr.||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As per our current Database, Jennifer Lee Pryor died on December 10, 2005(2005-12-10) (aged 65)
Encino, Los Angeles, California, U.S..
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Pryor was born on December 1, 1940, in Peoria, Illinois. He grew up in a brothel run by his grandmother, Marie Carter, where his alcoholic mother, Gertrude L. (née Thomas), was a prostitute. His father, LeRoy "Buck Carter" Pryor (June 7, 1915 – September 27, 1968), was a former boxer and hustler. After Gertrude abandoned him when he was 10, Pryor was raised primarily by Marie, a tall, violent woman who would beat him for any of his eccentricities. Pryor was one of four children raised in his grandmother's brothel. He was sexually abused at age seven, and expelled from school at the age of 14. While in Peoria, he became a Prince Hall Freemason at a local lodge.
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 New York's Village Gate. Simone recalls Pryor's bout of performance anxiety:
In September 1967 Pryor had what he described in his autobiography Pryor Convictions (1995) as an "epiphany". He walked onto the stage at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas (with Dean Martin in the audience), looked at the sold-out crowd, exclaimed over the microphone, "What the fuck am I doing here!?", and walked off the stage. Afterward, Pryor began working 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. Around this time, his parents died—his mother in 1967 and his father in 1968.
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.
Pryor signed with the comedy-oriented independent record label Laff Records in 1970, and in 1971 recorded his second album, Craps (After Hours). Two years later, the relatively unknown comedian appeared in the documentary Wattstax (1972), wherein 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 he signed with Stax Records in 1973.
In 1975 Pryor was a guest host on the first season of Saturday Night Live and the first black person to host the show. Pryor took longtime girlfriend, actress-talk show host Kathrine McKee (sister of Lonette McKee), with him to New York, and she made a brief guest appearance with Pryor on SNL. He participated in the "word association" skit with Chevy Chase. He would later do his own variety show,The Richard Pryor Show, which premiered on NBC in 1977. The show was cancelled after only four episodes probably because television audiences did not respond well to his show's controversial subject matter, and Pryor was unwilling to alter his material for network censors. During the short-lived series, he portrayed the first black President of the United States, spoofed the Star Wars Mos Eisley cantina, took on gun violence, and in another skit, used costumes and visual distortion to appear nude.
Pryor's release Bicentennial Nigger (1976) continued his streak of success. It became his third consecutive gold album, and he collected his third consecutive Grammy for Best Comedy Recording for the album in 1977. With every successful album Pryor recorded for Warner (or later, his concert films and his 1980 freebasing accident), Laff quickly published an album of older material to capitalize on Pryor's growing fame—a practice they continued until 1983. The covers of Laff albums tied in thematically with Pryor movies, such as Are You Serious? for Silver Streak (1976), The Wizard of Comedy for his appearance in The Wiz (1978), and Insane for Stir Crazy (1980).
In November 1977, after many years of heavy smoking and drinking, Pryor suffered a mild heart attack at age 37. He recovered and resumed performing in January the following year. In 1986, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 1990, Pryor suffered a second heart attack while in Australia. He underwent triple heart bypass surgery in 1991.
In 1978, Pryor was arrested for drunk driving, for which he was sentenced to 5 months in jail.
In 1979 at the height of his success, Pryor visited Africa. Upon returning to the United States, Pryor swore he would never use the word "nigger" in his stand-up comedy routine again.
In 1983 Pryor signed a five-year contract with Columbia Pictures for $40 million and he started his own production company, Indigo Productions. Softer, more formulaic films followed, including Superman III (1983), which earned Pryor $4 million; Brewster's Millions (1985), Moving (1988), and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989). The only film project from this period that recalled his rough roots was Pryor's semiautobiographic debut as a writer-director, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, which was not a major success.
Pryor co-hosted the Academy Awards twice and was nominated for an Emmy for a guest role on the television series Chicago Hope. Network censors had warned Pryor about his profanity for the Academy Awards, and after a slip early in the program, a five-second delay was instituted when returning from a commercial break. Pryor is also one of only three Saturday Night Live hosts to be subjected to a rare five-second delay for his 1975 appearance (along with Sam Kinison in 1986 and Andrew Dice Clay in 1990).
In 1998 Pryor won the first 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, Pryor was selected as the first recipient of the Prize because:
In 2002 Pryor and Jennifer Lee Pryor, his wife and manager, won legal rights to all the Laff material, which amounted to 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 tapes in 2004. These tapes, including the entire Craps album, form the basis of the February 1, 2005, double-CD release Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966–1974).
In 2002 a television documentary entitled The Funny Life of Richard Pryor depicted Pryor's life and career. Broadcast in the UK as part of the Channel 4 series Kings of Black Comedy, it was produced, directed and narrated by David Upshal and featured rare clips from Pryor's 1960s stand-up appearances and movies such as Silver Streak (1976), Blue Collar (1978), Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1978), and Stir Crazy (1980). Contributors included George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Ice-T, Paul Mooney, Joan Rivers, and Lily Tomlin. The show tracked down the two cops who had rescued Pryor from his "freebasing incident", former managers, and even school friends from Pryor's home town of Peoria, Illinois. In the US, the show went out as part of the Heroes of Black Comedy series on Comedy Central, narrated by Don Cheadle.
In 2004 Pryor was voted number one 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.
In late 2004 his sister said he had lost his voice as a result of his multiple sclerosis. 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: "I'm sick of hearing this shit about me not talking ... not true ... I have good days, bad days ... but I still am a talkin' motherfucker!"
Inspired by Bill Cosby, Pryor began as a middlebrow comic, with material far less controversial than what was to come. Soon, he began appearing regularly on television variety shows, such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffin Show, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His popularity led to success as a 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 period.
On December 19, 2005, BET aired a Pryor special, titled The Funniest Man Dead or Alive. It included commentary from fellow comedians, and insight into his upbringing.
On December 10, 2005, nine days after his 65th birthday, Pryor suffered a third heart attack in Los Angeles. He was taken to a local hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. He was pronounced dead at 7:58 a.m. PST. His widow Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face." He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family. His ashes were later spread in 2019 by his widow, Jennifer, in Hana, Hawaii. Forensic pathologist Michael Hunter believes Pryor's fatal heart attack was caused by coronary artery disease that was at least partially brought about by years of tobacco smoking.
Pryor was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
A retrospective of Pryor's film work, concentrating on the 1970s, titled A Pryor Engagement, opened at Brooklyn Academy of Music Cinemas for a two-week run in February 2013. Several prolific comedians who have claimed Pryor as an influence include George Carlin, Dave Attell, Martin Lawrence, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Colin Quinn, Patrice O'Neal, Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Bill Burr, Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Eddie Murphy, Eddie Griffin, and Eddie Izzard.
On May 31, 2013, Showtime debuted the documentary Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Marina Zenovich. The executive producers are Pryor's widow Jennifer Lee Pryor and Roy Ackerman. Interviewees include Dave Chappelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Jesse Jackson, Quincy Jones, George Lopez, Bob Newhart, Richard Pryor, Jr., Lily Tomlin, and Robin Williams.
The biopic remained in limbo, and went through several producers until it was announced in January 2014 that it was being backed by The Weinstein Company with Lee Daniels as director. It was further announced, in August 2014, that the biopic will have Oprah Winfrey as producer and will star Mike Epps as Pryor.
Nine years after Pryor's death, in 2014 the biographical book Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul stated that Pryor "acknowledged his bisexuality" and in 2018, Quincy Jones and Pryor's widow Jennifer Lee claimed that Pryor had had a sexual relationship with Marlon Brando, and that Pryor was open about his bisexuality with his friends. Pryor's daughter Rain later disputed the claim, to which Lee stated that Rain was in denial about her father's bisexuality. Lee later told TMZ, in explanation, that "it was the 70s! Drugs were still good... If you did enough cocaine, you’d fuck a radiator and send it flowers in the morning". In his autobiography Pryor Convictions, Pryor admitted to having a two-week sexual relationship with a transvestite, which he called "two weeks of being gay."
Artist Preston Jackson created a life-sized bronze statue in dedication to the beloved comedian and named it Richard Pryor: More than Just a Comedian. It was placed at the corner of State and Washington Streets in downtown Peoria, on May 1, 2015, close to the neighborhood in which he grew up with his mother. The unveiling was held Sunday, May 3, 2015.
On March 12, 2019, Paramount Network debuted the documentary I Am Richard Pryor, directed by Jesse James Miller. The film included appearances by Sandra Bernhard, Lily Tomlin, Mike Epps, Howie Mandel, and Pryor's ex-wife, Jennifer Lee Pryor, among others. Jennifer Lee also served as an executive producer on the film.
Currently, Jennifer Lee Pryor is 81 years, 5 months and 18 days old. Jennifer Lee Pryor will celebrate 82nd birthday on a Thursday 1st of December 2022.
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