Paul Mooney, the pioneering comic and actor, has died at the age of 79, his rep Cassandra Williams told The Hollywood Reporter.
According to his family, Mooney died at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California. The paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him after he suffered a heart attack, gossip web site TMZ reports.
Mooney, who’s been out of the public eye for a few years, had also reportedly been suffering from dementia for some time and was staying with a family member, the gossip outlet reports.
Paul Mooney, born Paul Gladney, was a comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor. He is best known as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor, playing singer Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story, Junebug in Bamboozled, and his appearances on Chappelle’s Show.