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Paul Mooney, comedian and writer for Richard Pryor, dies at 79

Mooney served as the head writer on "The Richard Pryor Show" and co-wrote some of Pryor's material on several of his comedy albums and his "Saturday Night Live" sketches.
Image:  Paul Mooney attends during the 2017 LOL Comedy Honors Awards Show on Aug. 24, 2017 in the of New York City.
Paul Mooney attends during the LOL Comedy Honors Awards Show on Aug. 24, 2017 in the of New York City.John Lamparski / Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

Paul Mooney, the comedian, actor and writer for Richard Pryor, died on Wednesday morning, his representative Cassandra Williams confirmed to Variety.

He was 79.

He died at his home in Oakland, Calif., after suffering a heart attack.

Mooney's Twitter account also shared the news on Wednesday morning, posting "Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts...To all in love with this great man."

Mooney served as the head writer on "The Richard Pryor Show" and co-wrote some of Pryor's material on several of his comedy albums and his "Saturday Night Live" sketches. Mooney also wrote for "Sanford and Son," "Good Times," "In Living Color," "Pryor's Place," "The Larry Sanders Show," "Chappelle's Show" and BET's reality TV parody show "Real Husbands of Hollywood."

Paul Mooney C. 1970.Michael Ochs Archives

In addition to his stand-up comedy, Mooney appeared in movies like "The Buddy Holly Story," where he played Sam Cooke, "Bustin' Loose," "Hollywood Shuffle," Spike Lee's "Bamboozled" and most recently "Meet the Blacks" in 2016.

On Dave Chappelle's Comedy Central show, Mooney played the recurring character Negrodamus, a Black version of the philosopher Nostradamus who specialized in answering questions like "Why do white people love Wayne Brady so much?" (Answer: "Because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X").