Comedic legend Paul Mooney has died at age 79.
Mooney died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California, after suffering a heart attack, his representative Cassandra Williams told The Associated Press. Journalist Roland Martin was the first to report about Mooney’s death.
The Twitter account for Mooney posted a tweet thanking the comedian’s fans for their condolences.
“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts … you’re all are 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 all of our hearts …you’re all are 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, whose birth name was Paul Gladney, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1941. He moved to Oakland as a child.
The stand-up comic, actor and writer famously worked with Richard Pryor for decades, serving as a head writer on “The Richard Pryor Show.” He also co-wrote material on several of Pryor’s comedy albums and served as a writer for Pryor’s 1975 appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”
Mooney wrote for series and sitcoms, including “Sanford and Son,” “In Living Color” and “Good Times.”
He appeared in a number of films, including his portrayal of Sam Cooke in “The Buddy Holly Story” and his roles in “Bamboozled” and “Meet the Blacks.”
The comedic icon memorably played recurring character Negrodamus on “Chappelle’s Show,” where he also served as a writer.
Mooney, who used his comedy to directly confront racism, published a memoir titled “Black Is the New White.”
People on Twitter began mourning Mooney’s death Wednesday, sharing ways the comedian’s work impacted their lives:
Paul Mooney. A comedy giant. I recall listening to his RACE album in college and how formative it was. Yeah, the jokes. But more so, the freedom. He spoke freely and fearlessly about feelings and experiences others found difficult to express. May he be truly free now. Rest, sir.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 19, 2021
— MAXWELL (@_MAXWELL_) May 19, 2021
RIP Paul Mooney! 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. So happy 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
Paul Mooney was so funny 😂😂😂pic.twitter.com/XuuIR5lEX0
— BlackCultureEntertainment🗣 (@4TheCulture____) May 19, 2021
Paul Mooney. Woah. My dude. Inspector Caine? Man. RIP pic.twitter.com/Mu3geKfqvp
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 19, 2021
There is no way to do Paul Mooney justice with a tweet. Saw him live. Saw him in Hollywood Shuffle. Say him on Chappelle. Saw him influence two generations of comics. Never afraid. You laughed until you cried or you cried until you laughed. Rest in Power. pic.twitter.com/ZWiSIC8oPn
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 19, 2021 RELATED… Actor Charles Grodin Dies At 86 Eddie Murphy Hilariously Recounts 'Absolutely Accurate' Prince Basketball Story Dave Chappelle Talks 'Racist' Trump And How To Survive 'Anguish' In Edgy 'SNL' Monologue Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost