Comedic actor and activist Dick Gregory has died, his family announced via social media on Saturday.
In a Facebook post, son Christian Gregory shared, "It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, DC. The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time. More details will be released over the next few days."
The 84-year-old funnyman had been a part of the Civil Rights Movement and successfully satirized several tough issues of race relations over the course of his career.
In addition to being a stand-up sensation and a continued voice of resistance, Gregory was also an author, a businessman, and an actor. Though unofficially shunned by the Hollywood mainstream for most of his career due to his outspoken and sometimes controversial stances, he racked up bit appearances on television throughout the decades, from The Merv Griffin Show in the '60s all the way up to Democracy Now! in the 2000s. As of late, small screen scripted credits include a vocal cameo on Wonder Showzen as a puppet who warns another, "Don't get hooked on imagination, Chauncey. It can lead to terrible, horrible things," and Comedy Central's Reno 911! where he played as a blind panhandler who gets arrested for dropping his trousers in public. He appeared as himself to perform his signature stand-up on dozens of programs over the decades.
His passing has evoked an outpouring of respect and remembrance from the celebrity community.
RIP Dick Gregory, A 5 Star General in The War for Human Rights!! Glad to have been in your sphere.— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) August 20, 2017
Dick Gregory, Truth teller, make you fall on your face laughing Comedian, health man before it was cool & crazy expensive unapologetic— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) August 20, 2017
Comedian Dick Gregory always told it like it is. Our laughter was fuel to fight for justice in an unjust world. RIP 1932-2017 pic.twitter.com/wpbdEkvny1— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 20, 2017
Dick Gregory is even more powerful and engaging now..Can you hear him? "Stay woke" in his spirit learn the 84 chapters!— Paul Mooney (@PaulEalyMooney) August 20, 2017