One of America's top comedians in the 1970s and 1980s, Richard Pryor blazed new trails as an actor, writer and stand up performer who was known for his use of vulgarisms as he touched on a wide range of often controversial social and cultural topics. He broke into television with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and co-wrote Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks. Pryor's brilliant career was often tempered by his personal troubles, which included bouts with drug and alcohol abuse and the onset of multiple sclerosis. The disease left him a recluse in the 1990s, and he passed away in 2005.
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