Richard Pryor


Richard Pryor : biography

December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005


  • 1973 – Pryor Goes Foxx Hunting, (Laff.)
    • Split LP with Redd Foxx, containing previously released tracks from Craps (After Hours)
  • 1975 – Down And Dirty, (Laff.)
    • Split LP with Redd Foxx, containing previously released tracks from Craps (After Hours)
  • 1976 – Richard Pryor Meets… Richard & Willie And… The SLA!!, (Laff)
    • Split LP with black ventriloquist act Richard And Willie, containing previously released tracks from Craps (After Hours)
  • 1977 – Richard Pryor’s Greatest Hits, (Warner Bros. Records)
    • Contains tracks from Craps (After Hours), That Nigger’s Crazy, and …Is It Something I Said?, plus a previously unreleased track from 1975, "Ali".
  • 2000 – …And It’s Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968–1992) (9-CD box set) (Warner Bros. Records/Rhino)
    • Box set collection containing all Warner Bros. albums plus a bonus disc of previously unissued material from 1973 to 1992.
  • 2002 – The Anthology (1968–1992) (2-CD set) (Warner Bros. Records/Rhino, 2002 in music)
    • Highlights culled from the albums collected in the …And It’s Deep Too! box set.
  • 2005 – Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966–1974) (2-CD set) (Warner Bros. Records/Rhino, 2005 in music)
    • Pryor-authorized compilation of material released on Laff, including the entire Craps (After Hours) album.
  • 2013 – No Pryor Restraint: Life In Concert (7-CD, 2-DVD box set) (Shout! Factory)
    • Box set containing concert films, albums and unreleased material from 1966 to 1992.

Later life

In his later years starting in the early 1990s, Richard Pryor used a power operated vehicle/scooter due to multiple sclerosis (also known as MS, which he said stood for "More Shit"). He appears on the scooter in his last film appearance, a small role in David Lynch’s Lost Highway (1997) playing an auto repair garage manager named Arnie.

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 "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 WB albums for inclusion in the box set …And It’s Deep Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968–1992).

In early 2000, he appeared in the cold open of The Norm Show in the episode entitled "Norm vs. The Boxer". He played an elderly man in a wheelchair who lost the rights to in-home nursing when he kept attacking the nurses before attacking Norm himself.

In 2001, he remarried Jennifer Lee, who had also become his manager.

In 2002 a television documentary 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. It featured rare clips from Pryor’s 1960s stand-up appearances and movies such as Silver Streak, Blue Collar, Stir Crazy, and Richard Pryor: Live in Concert. Contributors included Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Chappelle, Lily Tomlin, George Carlin, Joan Rivers, Ice-T, and Paul Mooney. The show tracked down the two cops who 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.