Comedy legend, Paul Mooney has passed away at the age of 79!
The star – who is best known for his work opposite Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story – died from a heart attack at his home in Oakland, California…
Journalist Roland Martin shared on Twitter. ‘His cousin Rudy Ealy just called me from Paul’s phone and said he passed away two hours ago after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland. He was 79. We will pay tribute to him tonight on #RolandMartinUnfiltered.’
Mooney was notably known for his work on ‘Chappelle’s Show’. He began in sketches like “Ask a Black Dude” and later became “Negrodamus,” a take on Nostradamus that looked at life’s biggest questions. “Why do white people love Wayne Brady?” Mooney was asked. “Because Wayne Brady makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X,” he joked.
He also stood out as Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story and as Junebug in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled.
Paul – whose real name was Paul Gladney – grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Paul got his start as a writer for the iconic comedian Richard Pryor.
Then Mooney was recognized for playing singer Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story, a hit film from 1978 starring Gary Busey as Buddy.
He was also the head writer for the first year of Fox’s In Living Color. He was the inspiration for the beloved character ‘Homey D. Clown’, which was played by Damon Wayans.
He also wrote for Saturday Night Live, Sanford and Son, and Good Times, plus served as the head writer for The Richard Pryor Show. His jokes about racism often brought about as much reflection as it did laughs.
Mooney most recently acted in BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, a parody of reality television, and was in 2016’s Meet the Blacks.