Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was born December 1, 1940 and passed away December 10, 2005 from a heart attack. Richard was 1 of 4 children born in Peoria, IL, and they were brought up in the harsh environment of his grandmother’s brothel. They were mentally, physically, and sexually abused from a young age. As they got older Richard was kicked out of school at age 14. Eventually he would get out of the harsh environment he had to call home.
He got his first shot at fame, but it came with nerves and stage fright. He may have failed if it were not for the compassion of Nina Simone who rocked Pryor like a baby after those first few performances. She saw his potential talent, and helped him through one of the roughest times in his life. Pryor would go on to perform as a stand up comedian and have a long and successful acting career. I love Pryor, his stand up was raw and very funny, and his movies were hilarious. Some of my all time favorites include “Brewster’s Millions”, “Superman III”, “Stir Crazy” , and “The Toy”, where he starred along side another all time legend and favorite of mine(Who may get a write up down the road) Jackie Gleason. Pryor who was hilarious on screen was troubled behind the scenes. Apparently the fame went to his head. He was often late, rude, and demanding. He was married and divorced several times, and he was 1 of 3 SNL hosts to have a 5 second delay on them. Despite his harsh upbringing and troubled personal life, Richard is still one of the funniest comedians to ever hit the big screen.
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