Comedian and actor Paul Mooney, who collaborated with comedic stars including
Richard Pryor and Dave Chappelle, has died from a heart attack, his publicist Cassandra
Williams confirmed the news on Wednesday. He was 79.
His family added that he died on Wednesday morning, despite attempts by paramedics
to revive him, according to TMZ.
Paul, who’s been out of the public eye for a few years, had also reportedly been suffering
from dementia for some time and was staying with a family member.
Paul Mooney was known best for his work with Richard Pryor.
Mooney was also the head writer on “The Richard Pryor Show” and wrote a few episodes
of “Pryor’s Place.” His other notable writing credits include “Sanford and Son,” “In Living
Color” and “Chappelle’s Show.”
Holly Story,” and for his role as Junebug in Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled
After news of his death broke, fans and friends took to social media to celebrate the
life of the comic, thanking the “Godfather of Comedy” for his iconic roles and bits.
“You were both funny and poignant,” tweeted Actress Viola Davis Wednesday.
“So happy to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here.
We need it.”
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay called Mooney a comedic genius, thanking him for how
he let his personal experiences shine through his work. “He spoke freely and fearlessly
about feelings and experiences others found difficult to express,” Duvernay said. “May he
be truly free now