Richard Pryor biography

Richard Pryor

Comedian, Musical Artist

1940 – 2005


Who was Richard Pryor?

Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was an American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, writer, and MC.

Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities, and profanity, as well as racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time: Jerry Seinfeld called Pryor "The Picasso of our profession"; Bob Newhart has called Pryor "the seminal comedian of the last 50 years." This legacy can be attributed, in part, to the unusual degree of intimacy Pryor brought to bear on his comedy. As Bill Cosby reportedly once said, "Richard Pryor drew the line between comedy and tragedy as thin as one could possibly paint it."

His body of work includes the concert movies and recordings Richard Pryor: Live & Smokin', That N*gger's Crazy, ...Is It Something I Said?, Bicentennial N*gger, Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, and Richard Pryor: Here and Now. He also starred in numerous films as an actor, such as Superman III but was usually in comedies such as Silver Streak, and occasionally in dramatic roles, such as Paul Schrader's film Blue Collar. He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. Another frequent collaborator was actor/comedian/writer Paul Mooney.


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"Richard Pryor." STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Sep. 2020. <>.

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Dec 1, 1940
Also known as
  • Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III
  • Dick
  • Dickie
  • Rich
  • Richie
  • Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor
  • African American
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Peoria
Dec 10, 2005

on July 23, 2013

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