, 79, was a comedic legend.
Mooney died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California
, of a heart attack
, his representative Cassandra Williams told The Associated Press
. Mooney's death
was first reported by journalist Roland Martin.
account thanked fans for their condolences.
“Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts... you’re all the best!...... Mooney World,” the tweet read. “The Godfather of Comedy
– ONE MOON MANY STARS!.. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks.”
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts...you're the best!...... Mooney World.. The Godfather of Comedy - ONE MOON MANY STARS!.. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks— Paul Mooney (@PaulEalyMooney) May 19, 2021
Mooney, born Paul Gladney in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1941, moved to Oakland as a child.
The stand-up comedian
, actor, and writer
famously collaborated with Richard Pryor for decades, serving as a head writer on “The Richard Pryor Show,” co-writing material on several of Pryor’s comedy albums, and serving as a writer for Pryor’s 1975 appearance on “Saturday Night Live
Mooney's credits include "Sanford and Son," "In Living Color," and "Good Times."
He appeared in several films, including "The Buddy Holly Story," in which he portrayed Sam Cooke, as well as "Bamboozled" and "Meet the Blacks."
The comedic legend was best known for his role as the recurring character Negrodamus on "Chappelle's Show," where he also wrote.
Mooney, who used his comedy to confront racism
, wrote a memoir
titled "Black Is the New White" and published it.
began mourning Mooney's death on Twitter on Wednesday, sharing how the comedian's work
influenced their lives:
Paul Mooney. A comedy giant. I remember listening to his RACE album in college and how formative it was. Sure, the jokes
. But more importantly, the freedom. He spoke freely and fearlessly about feelings and experiences that others found difficult to express. May he be truly free now. Rest, sir.— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 19, 2021
• #restinpeace pic.twitter.com/NPt6VUpj4j — MAXWELL (@_MAXWELL_) May 19, 2021
RIP, Paul Mooney! You were one of the greatest. pic.twitter.com/HlCvpavctw— Malcolm (@Malcolmvelli) May 19, 2021
Awww.... RIP comedy legend Paul Mooney! You were both funny
and poignant. I am grateful to have witnessed your genius live. Rest well!!! Pour down some laughter here. We need it pic.twitter.com/cr6MqY3UXA— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 19, 2021
XuuIR5lEX0— BlackCultureEntertainment (@4TheCulture____) May 19, 2021
RIP, Paul Mooney. pic.twitter.com/Mu3geKfqvp — Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 19, 2021
There is no way to do Paul Mooney justice with a tweet. I saw him live. I saw him in Hollywood
Shuffle. I saw him on Chappelle. I saw him influence two generations of comics. Never be afraid. You laughed until you cried or cried until you laughed. Rest in Power. pic.twitter.com/ZWiSIC8oPn— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 19, 2021