Richard Pryor Richard Pryor

Comedy legend Richard Pryor died of a heart attack Saturday morning at a Los Angeles hospital, the Associated Press reports. The ground-breaking comic and actor was 65 and had been ill with multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative disease of the nervous system, for years. Pryor first gained fame as a profane standup performer whose edgy, free-wheeling style and personal take on racial inequality was an influence on an entire generation of comedians, including Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Robin Williams. In the 1970s and '80s, he starred in hit films such as Stir Crazy and Silver Streak in addition to writing for TV shows and movies like Sanford and Son and Blazing Saddles. In the early 1980's, he also battled drug addiction, which he referenced on stage and in his autobiographical film, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling. He was diagnosed with MS in the 1990's