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Richard Pryor
Birthday: December 1, 1940

Birth Place: Peoria, Illinois, USA
Height: 5' 1"

Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in) for Richard Pryor. If you have any corrections or additions, please email us at corrections@actorsofhollywood.com. We'd also be interested in any trivia or other information you have.



African-American comedian Richard Pryor grew up bombarded by mixed messages. Pryor's grandmother owned a string of brothels, his mother prostituted herself, and his father was a pimp. Still, they raised Richard to be honest, polite, and religious. Living in one of the worst slums in Peoria, IL, Pryor found that he could best defend himself by getting gang members to laugh at instead of pummeling him. This led to his reputation as a disruptive class clown, although at least one understanding teacher allowed Pryor one minute per week to "cut up" so long as he behaved himself the rest of the time. At age 14, he became involved in amateur dramatics at Peoria's Carver Community Center, which polished his stage presence. In 1963, Pryor headed to New York to seek work as a standup comic; after small gigs in the black nightclub circuit, he was advised to pattern himself after Bill Cosby — that is, to be what white audiences perceived as "nonthreatening." For the next five years, the young comic flourished in clubs and on TV variety shows, making his film bow in The Busy Body (1967). But the suppression of Pryor's black pride and anger by the white power structure frustrated him. One night, sometime between 1969 and 1971, he "lost it" while performing a gig in Las Vegas; he either walked off-stage without a word or he obscenely proclaimed that he was sick of it. Over the next few years, Pryor found himself banned from many nightclubs, allegedly due to offending the mob-connected powers-that-be, and lost many of his so-called friends who'd been sponging off of him. Broke, Pryor went underground in Berkeley, CA, in the early '70s; when he re-emerged, he was a road-company Cosby no more. His act, replete with colorful epithets, painfully accurate character studies of street types, and hilarious (and, to some, frightening) hostility over black-white inequities, struck just the right note with audiences of the committed '70s. Record company executives, concerned that Pryor's humor would appeal only to blacks, were amazed at how well his first post-Berkeley album, That Nigger's Crazy!, sold with young white consumers. As for Hollywood, Pryor made a key early appearance in the Diana Ross vehicle Lady Sings the Blues. But ultra-reactionary Tinseltown wasn't quite attuned to Pryor's liberal use of obscenities or his racial posturing. Pryor had been commissioned to write and star in a Mel Brooks-directed Western-comedy about a black sheriff, but Brooks replaced Pryor with the less-threatening Cleavon Little; Pryor nonetheless retained a credit as one of five writers on the picture, alongside such luminaries as Andrew Bergman. When Pryor appeared onscreen in The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings and Silver Streak (both 1976), it was as a supporting actor. But Pryor's popularity built momentum, and by the end of the '70s he became the highest-paid starring comedian in films, with long-range contracts ensuring him work well into the next decade - when such efforts as Stir Crazy, Bustin' Loose, and The Toy helped to both clean up the foul-mouthed comic's somewhat raunchy public image, and endear him to a whole new generation of fans. His comedy albums — and later, videocassettes — sold out as quickly as they were recorded. The only entertainment arena still too timid for Pryor was network television — his 1977 NBC variety series has become legendary for the staggering amount of network interference and censorship imposed upon it. (It wasn't just symbolic that the opening gag on the series was supposed to suggest that Pryor had been castrated.) By the early '80s, Pryor was on top of the entertainment world. Then came a near-fatal catastrophe when he accidentally set himself afire while freebasing cocaine. Upon recovery, he joked liberally (and self-deprecatively) about his brush with death, but, otherwise, he appeared to change; his comedy became more introspective, more rambling, more tiresome, and occasionally (as in the 1983 standup effort Richard Pryor: Here and Now) drew vicious heckling and catcalls from obnoxious audiences. His cinematic decline began with a thinly-disguised film autobiography, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986), which Pryor starred in and directed; it met with critical scorn. Pryor's films declined in popularity, the audiences grew more hostile at the concerts, and Pryor deteriorated physically. Doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis in the late '80s, and, by 1990, it became painfully obvious to everyone that he was a very sick man, although his industry friends and supporters made great effort to celebrate his accomplishments and buoy his spirits. The twin 1989 releases Harlem Nights and See No Evil, Hear No Evil (the latter of which re-teamed Pryor with fellow Silver Streak alums Arthur Hiller and Gene Wilder) failed to reignite Pryor's popularity or draw back his fanbase.Pryor's ill-fated attempt to resuscitate his stand-up act at L.A.'s Comedy Store in 1992 proved disastrous; unable to stand, Pryor was forced to deliver his monologues from an easy chair; he aborted his planned tour soon after. He appeared in television and films only sporadically in his final decade, save a rare cameo in David Lynch's 1997 Lost Highway. These dark omens foretold a sad end to a shimmering career; the world lost Pryor soon after. On December 12, 2005, the comedian - only 65 years old — died of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital. But he left a peerless legacy behind as a stand-up comic and black actor. Without his trail-blazing efforts, the in-your-face humor of such African-American comedians as Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence would never have enjoyed so wide and ethnically varied an audience.

Movie Credits
Lost Highway (1997)
[ David Lynch ][ Giovanni Ribisi ][ Bill Pullman ][ Gary Busey ][ David Bowie ]
Mad Dog Time (1996)
[ Burt Reynolds ][ Jeff Goldblum ][ Gabriel Byrne ][ Richard Dreyfuss ][ Kyle MacLachlan ]
Another You (1991)
[ Gene Wilder ][ Kevin Pollak ][ Vincent Schiavelli ][ Michael J. Pollard ]
The Three Muscatels (1991)
Harlem Nights (1989)
[ Eddie Murphy ][ Danny Aiello ][ Redd Foxx ][ Arsenio Hall ][ Charles Q. Murphy ]
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
[ Kevin Spacey ][ Gene Wilder ][ Zach Grenier ][ Ed Quinn ]
Moving (1988)
[ Randy Quaid ][ Dana Carvey ][ Rodney Dangerfield ][ Dave Thomas ][ Leslie Howard ]
Critical Condition (1987)
[ Wesley Snipes ][ Bob Saget ][ Joe Mantegna ][ Jude Ciccolella ][ Jon Polito ]
Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986)
[ Michael Ironside ][ Dennis Farina ][ Wings Hauser ]
Brewster's Millions (1985)
[ John Candy ][ Rick Moranis ][ Jerry Orbach ][ Stephen Collins ][ Hume Cronyn ]
Superman III (1983)
[ Christopher Reeve ][ John Williams ][ Robert Vaughn ][ Jackie Cooper ][ Marc McClure ]
The Toy (1982)
[ Ned Beatty ][ Jackie Gleason ][ Tony Burton ]
Some Kind of Hero (1982)
Bustin' Loose (1981)
In God We Tru$t (1980)
[ Peter Boyle ][ Andy Kaufman ][ Marty Feldman ]
Wholly Moses! (1980)
[ John Ritter ][ Dom DeLuise ][ Dudley Moore ][ Brion James ]
Stir Crazy (1980)
[ Gene Wilder ][ Craig T Nelson ][ Craig T. Nelson ][ Barry Corbin ][ Tony Burton ]
The Muppet Movie (1979)
[ Steve Martin ][ Mel Brooks ][ Orson Welles ][ Frank Oz ][ Elliott Gould ]
California Suite (1978)
[ Michael Caine ][ Bill Cosby ][ Alan Alda ][ Walter Matthau ][ Herb Edelman ]
The Wiz (1978)
[ Sidney Lumet ][ Diana Ross ]
Blue Collar (1978)
[ Harvey Keitel ][ Yaphet Kotto ][ Ed Begley Jr. ][ Lane Smith ][ Tracey Walter ]
Which Way Is Up? (1977)
Greased Lightning (1977)
[ Beau Bridges ][ Lloyd Bridges ][ Cleavon Little ][ Noble Willingham ][ Bill Cobbs ]
Silver Streak (1976)
[ Gene Wilder ][ Richard Kiel ][ Fred Willard ][ Patrick McGoohan ][ Ned Beatty ]
Car Wash (1976)
[ Danny DeVito ][ George Carlin ][ Bill Duke ]
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
[ James Earl Jones ][ Billy Dee Williams ][ Tony Burton ]
Adiós Amigo (1976)
[ Fred Williamson ][ Mike Henry ]
Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
[ Bill Cosby ][ Sidney Poitier ][ Harry Belafonte ]
Some Call It Loving (1973)
Hit! (1973)
[ Billy Dee Williams ][ Noble Willingham ]
The Mack (1973)
Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
[ Billy Dee Williams ][ Scatman Crothers ]
You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat (1971)
Carter's Army (1970)
[ Billy Dee Williams ][ Aaron Spelling ]
The Young Lawyers (1969)
[ Keenan Wynn ]
Wild in the Streets (1968)
[ Hal Holbrook ][ Bill Mumy ][ Michael Margotta ]
Uncle Tom's Fairy Tales (1968)
The Busy Body (1967)
[ Dom DeLuise ][ Sid Caesar ][ Robert Ryan ][ Godfrey Cambridge ]


  • Has admitted the fire that nearly killed him while free-basing cocaine in the early 1980's was in fact a suicide attempt. His management created the "accident" lie for the press in hopes of protecting him.
  • Awarded The First Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize. [1999]
  • Served with U.S. army, 1958-1960.
  • Dated actress Pam Grier in the 1970s.
  • Reunited with fourth wife, Jennifer Lee. [2001]
  • Mother, Gertude died when Pryor was 27 years old.
  • Children: Renee, Richard Jr, Elizabeth, Rain, Stephen, Kelsey, and Franklin Mason.
  • Father, Buck Carter (aka LeRoy Pryor) was a bartender, boxer and WWII Vet who died in 1968 when Richard was 28.
  • Claimed to have seen the film The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) 40 times.
  • Father of Rain Pryor.
  • As of 2002, Sheridan Rd. on the south side of Peoria is now Richard Pryor Place, in honor of the actor.
  • Was originally meant to play the role of Bart in Blazing Saddles (1974), but due to the controversial nature of his stand-up routines of the day and his background, Mel Brooks couldn't secure financing for the project. So Pryor was made a co-writer of the script, and Cleavon Little played Bart.
  • Was originally considered for the role of Billy Ray Valentine on Trading Places (1983), before Eddie Murphy ultimately won the part.
  • Chosen as #1 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time (April 2004).
  • Suffered from Multiple Sclerosis from 1986 until his death in 2005.
  • Former father-in-law managed Danny Kaye for 35 years.
  • Remarried two of his ex-wives.
  • Though he made four films with Gene Wilder, the two comic actors were never as close as many thought according to the latter's autobiography.
  • Eddie Murphy pointed to Pryor as his role model and inspiration to become a comedian himself.
  • Buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, California. FLHH borders the city of Glendale and Griffith Park.
  • In 1990 he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent triple bypass surgery.
  • Won five Grammys in the "Best Comedy Recording" category for "That Nigger's Crazy" (1974), "Is It Something I Said? (1975), "Bicentennial Nigger" (1976), "Rev Du Rite" (1981) and "Live On the Sunset Strip" (1982).
  • One of his limo drivers was Freddy Soto who later went on to be a stand-up comedian. They both had died in 2005.
  • When Comedy Central put together a list of the Greatest Stand-up Comedians of All-Time, he was voted #1.

Naked Photos of Richard Pryor are available at MaleStars.com. They currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips, Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.

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