- Dennis Wepman
Pryor, Richard (1 Dec. 1940–10 Dec. 2005), comedian, actor, and screenwriter, was born Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor in a poor, predominantly black area of Peoria, Illinois, the son of LeRoy Pryor, a construction worker, bartender, pool-hall operator, and boxer; and Gertrude Thomas, a prostitute. He had little contact with his father, and when he was about ten years old his mother turned him over to his grandmother Marie Carter Pryor Bryant, who managed three brothels in Peoria. According to his memoir, he dropped out of high school at the age of fourteen when his eighth-grade science teacher threw him out of class for clowning around. For the next four years he lived at home, working at odd jobs: cleaning the floor in a strip club, shining shoes, racking balls at a pool hall, and driving a truck. In ...