LOS ANGELES — Richard Pryor, the groundbreaking comedian whose profanely personal insights into race relations and modern life made him one of Hollywood's biggest stars, died of a heart attack Saturday. He was 65.
Pryor died shortly before 8 a.m. after being taken to a hospital from his home in the San Fernando Valley, said his business manager, Karen Finch. He had been ill for years with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease of the nervous system.
Music producer Quincy Jones described Pryor as a true pioneer of his art.
"He was the Charlie Parker of comedy, a master of telling the truth that influenced every comedian that came after him," Jones said in a statement. "The legacy that he leaves will forever be with us."
Richard Pryor was truly a legend and an inspiration to many of the great comedians today. He was one of the few comedians capable of combining political satire with humor. His 1974 album That Nigger's Crazy is an epic and one of the funniest things I've ever heard in my life. While his movie career has been hit and miss, his concert films were great and his teamup with Sidney Poitier in Uptown Saturday Night was classic. I loved The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Harlem Nights, too.
He'll be missed.