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Actor & Comedian Richard Pryor Dies in California

American actor and comedian Richard Pryor has died.

Associates say he died in a California hospital Saturday morning of a heart attack. He was 65 and had suffered from multiple sclerosis for 20 years.

Richard Pryor began his career as a standup comedian with perceptive, but caustic routines, that often focused on racism.

He later acted in a series of popular films during the 1970's and 1980's. He also wrote and directed film and television projects.

Comedians Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, and Damon Waynans cite Mr. Pryor as an influence on their careers.

Pryor was awarded the first Mark Twain Prize for humor in 1998.

Like Twain, Pryor had outraged many with his observations about social justice and race in America.

He once remarked his career had included some great things and some bad things. The best and the worst. In other words, said Pryor, I had a life.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.