Comedian, actor, writer. Born Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III on December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois. Raised in his grandmother's brothel, Pryor left home to serve in the Army from 1958 to 1960. During his twenties, he worked in small comedy clubs before being discovered by Johnny Carson in 1966. The following year, he reinvented his mainstream act, adding the profanity and controversial racial themes that would become his signature. Pryor appeared in Las Vegas and in such hit films as The Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and Brewster's Millions (1985). With his expressive face, speedy wit and raunchy language, Pryor created a variety of characters on stage and screen, winning an Emmy Award in 1973, and five Grammy Awards in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982. The comedian also starred in the short-lived Richard Pryor Show for NBC in 1977, but the network censors were not ready for his act and he was unwilling to alter his content. Pryor was married seven times to five women and has seven children. His ongoing drug addiction eventually derailed his career, and he retired from recording in the late 1980s, though he continued to make films. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986 and died on December 10, 2005, of a heart attack.