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Paul Mooney, the trailblazing comedian, writer and actor, has died at 79, his representative, Cassandra Williams, told The Hollywood Reporter. Mooney’s Twitter account also shared the news, posting “Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts…To all in love with this great man.” Mooney passed away from a heart attack on Wednesday morning in Oakland, California.

The comedian got his start as a writer for Richard Pryor and served as head writer on The Richard Pryor Show. Mooney also wrote for a number of other TV programs, including Sanford and Son, Good Times, In Living Color, and Chappelle’s Show. As an actor, he played Sam Cooke in 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story” and appeared as Junebug in Spike Lee’s 2000 movie “Bamboozled.”

AMS had the privilege and pleasure of working with Mooney on his 2010 Showtime comedy special, Paul Mooney: It’s the End of the World!

“Getting to work with Paul was why I got into this business. His stories – about comedy, the black experience, the legends he worked with – were entertaining and informative of both his life and the changing world of comedy, especially through his real life lens. Paul always kept it real.” – Andy Streitfeld, AMS Pictures Founder and CEO

Paul Mooney laughs on stage during the taping of his comedy special, Paul Mooney: It’s the End of the World!

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