|ConGrats to Mike Epps for scoring Two Starring Roles in Two Movies about Two Legendary Performers... This Man Is On Fire!!!|
First off, he'll be working with another Man on Fire - Lee Daniels ('The Butler' & Hot New TV Show 'Empire'). While non other than former Queen of Daytime TV Oprah Winfrey, who has been casted as Richard Pryor's Grandmother in the up & coming biopic on the Comedy legend.
The Pryor movie has been in the works for years with other actors once casted for the title role, including Eddie Murphy, Marlon Wayans and, most recently, Nick Cannon and Michael B Jordan ('Fruitvale Station'). In 2005, Pryor himself named Epps as his pick to portray him in the movie, and Daniels and Winfrey ultimately honored his choice.
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor (December 1, 1940 – December 10, 2005) was an American comedian, actor, film director, social critic, satirist, writer, and MC.
Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities and profanity, as well as racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of all time: Jerry Seinfeld called Pryor "The Picasso of our profession", and Bob Newhart has called Pryor "the seminal comedian of the last 50 years". This legacy can be attributed, in part, to the unusual degree of intimacy Pryor brought to bear on his comedy. As Bill Cosby reportedly once said, "Richard Pryor drew the line between comedy and tragedy as thin as one could possibly paint it."
He collaborated on many projects with actor Gene Wilder. Another frequent collaborator was actor/comedian/writer Paul Mooney.
Pryor won an Emmy Award (1973) and five Grammy Awards (1974, 1975, 1976, 1981, and 1982). In 1974, he also won two American Academy of Humor awards and the Writers Guild of America Award. The first ever Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor was presented to him in 1998. Pryor is listed at Number 1 on Comedy Central's list of all-time greatest stand-up comedians.
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. In 1990, Pryor suffered a second and more severe heart attack and underwent triple heart bypass surgery.
On December 10, 2005, Pryor suffered a heart attack in Los Angeles. He was taken to a local hospital after his wife's attempts to resuscitate him failed. He was pronounced dead at 7:58 am PST. He was 65 years old. His widow Jennifer was quoted as saying, "At the end, there was a smile on his face." He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family.
Please Read More on this True Legend @: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pryor
The Second Starring Role Mike Epps snagged is the Common-law Husband (Richard Morgan) of Bessie Smith (Queen Latifah whom is also Executive Producer) in the up & coming HBO Movie titled "Bessie"...
Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an African-American Blues Singer.
Nicknamed The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on other jazz vocalists.
While in Philadelphia she met and fell in love with Jack Gee, a security guard whom she married on June 7, 1923, just as her first record was released. During the marriage—a stormy one, with infidelity on both sides—Smith became the highest paid black entertainer of the day, heading her own shows, which sometimes featured as many as 40 troupers, and touring in her own railroad car. Gee was impressed by the money, but never adjusted to show business life, or to Smith's bisexuality. In 1929, when she learned of his affair with another singer, Gertrude Saunders, Bessie Smith ended the relationship, although neither of them sought a divorce.
On September 26, 1937, Smith was critically injured in a car accident while traveling along U.S. Route 61 between Memphis, Tennessee, and Clarksdale, Mississippi. Her lover, Richard Morgan, was driving and, probably mesmerized by the long stretch of straight road, misjudged the speed of a slow-moving truck ahead of him. Tire marks at the scene suggested that Morgan tried to avoid the truck by driving around its left side, but he hit the rear of the truck side-on at high speed. The tailgate of the truck sheared off the wooden roof of Smith's old Packard. Smith, who was in the passenger seat, probably with her right arm or elbow out the window, took the full brunt of the impact. Morgan escaped without injuries. Bessie Smith was taken to Clarksdale's G. T. Thomas Afro-American Hospital, where her right arm was amputated. She died that morning without regaining consciousness.
On October 4, 1937 an estimated of over 10,000 mounrners attended Ms Bessie's Funeral. Yet, the grave remained unmarked until August 7, 1970, when a tombstone—paid for by singer Janis Joplin and Juanita Green, who as a child had done housework for Smith—was erected.
Please Read More on this Legendary Woman @: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Smith
Michael K Williams (The Wire & Boardwlk Empire) will star as hubby Mike Gee. While Tika Sumpter ('One Life to Live','Sparkle' & Tyler Perry's 'The Haves & the Have Nots') has been cast as one of Bessie's (bisexual) love interests.
I Personally can not see wait to see these Stars make History while potraying History that has already been made... Stay Tuned and look out for both Movies... HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!!
#HBHM #blackhistory #RIPRichardPryor #RIPBessieSmith