LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Comedian, writer and actor Paul Mooney has died at the age of 79.
Mooney passed away Wednesday morning in Oakland, a representative told The Hollywood Reporter.
No cause of death was immediately given.
“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts,” his family wrote on his Twitter page. “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.”
Mooney was a longtime writer for the legendary comedian Richard Pryor.
He wrote for “In Living Color,” “The Roseanne Show” and “Sanford and Son.” He also made multiple memorable appearances on “Chappelle’s Show” in the “Ask a Black Dude” segment.
“I want to shout out every comedian on earth, one of the best that ever did it, passed away today,” Dave Chappelle told TMZ in New York City Wednesday. “His legacy will live forever. He did everything from ‘Richard Pryor Show’ to ‘Chappelle’s Show.’ He’s one of the first Black people ever let into the Writer’s Guild. Paul Mooney will be sorely missed and widely remembered, I will see to that.”
He also played Sam Cooke in the Oscar-winning 1978 film, “The Buddy Holly Story.”
Paul Mooney. A comedy giant. I recall listening to his RACE album in college and how formative it was. Yeah, the jokes. But more so, the freedom. He spoke freely and fearlessly about feelings and experiences others found difficult to express. May he be truly free now. Rest, sir.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 19, 2021
Awww…. RIP comedy legend Paul Mooney! You were both funny and poignant. So happy to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here. We need it 💗💗💗 pic.twitter.com/cr6MqY3UXA
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 19, 2021