Comedy legend Paul Mooney has died at the age of 79. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mooney's rep confirmed that the legendary comedian/writer/actor died Wednesday (May 19) at 5:30 a.m. at his home in Oakland, California.
“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts …you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks,” family posted on Mooney’s Twitter account.
Born Paul Gladney in Shreveport, Louisiana, Mooney was a generation-defining stand-up comedian and was famously a writer for sitcoms like Sanford & Son and Good Times. His most famous collaborations were with comedy legend Richard Pryor. Mooney wrote routines Pryor performed on his most celebrated albums, including Live on the Sunset Strip and Is It Something I Said. And Mooney was the head writer on the short-lived sketch series The Richard Pryor Show.
In the 1990s, Mooney would also become a writer for Keenan Ivory Wayans' hit FOX series In Living Color. In the 2000s, Mooney often appeared on Chappelle’s Show, including in his classic segment, “Ask a Black Dude.” Mooney has numerous film credits, including playing the legendary Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story (1978) and appearing in Robert Townsend's cult classic Hollywood Shuffle.
A number of stars reacted to the news of the comedy giant's death.
*HEADER CREDIT: Paul Mooney, comedian during 2004 BET Comedy Awards - Show at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage for BET Network)