July 16, 1969 |
Los Angeles, California
Rain Pryor (born July 16, 1969) is an American actress and comedian.
Pryor was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Shelley R. (Bonis) and American comedian Richard Pryor. Rain Pryor's mother was a Jewish go-go dancer and Rain was largely raised with her Jewish maternal grandparents, who taught her about Jewish culture. Her mother was urged by her family to put Rain up for adoption, rather than deal with bringing up a child "in a world that wasn’t ready for biracial children." Rain was rejected by the African Americans and the Jewish Americans in her life, thus creating a unique voice in her award-winning solo show Fried Chicken and Latkes that explores racism in the late '60s and early '70s. In regard to her background, Pryor has joked that while growing up she felt "proud, but guilty about it."
Pryor graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1987.
She went on to star in the ABC series Head of the Class in the role of Theola June 'T.J.' Jones. Pryor's role was created from a series of characters she performed at her audition for the producers. Pryor starred for several years as Jackie, the lipstick lesbian drug addict on the Showtime series Rude Awakening and has guest starred on network television series such as The Division and Chicago Hope. She has appeared numerous times on both The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Tavis Smiley.
Rain’s stage credits include playing the title role of Billie Holiday in the UK tour of the Billie Holiday Story and the title role of Ella Fitzgerald in the UK premiere of Ella, Meet Marilyn. She performed in the Los Angeles productions of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues with Nora Dunn of Saturday Night Live fame and Charlene Tilton, Joan by Linda Chambers, in which she portrayed Joan of Arc; Cookin' With Gas, with the Groundlings improvisation troupe, The Exonerated with critically acclaimed actor Aidan Quinn and The Who's Tommy at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Pryor is also a jazz/blues vocalist since 1993, having played to sold-out crowds in Los Angeles, DC, Hong Kong, Scotland and London where she released a performance CD Rain Pryor Live in London. Her live cabaret received four stars[clarification needed] and was critically acclaimed[by whom?] "not to be missed."
Pryor created and toured in the award-winning show based on her life, Fried Chicken and Latkes in 2004 and 2005. She appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006.
In 2012, Rain was named the artistic director of Baltimore's Strand Theater.
Harper Collins published her book Jokes My Father Never Taught Me in 2006.
Awards and nominations
- 2008 Marin Services For Women Founders Award (recipient)
- 2007 NAACP Image Award, Best New Author Biography (nomination) - Jokes My Father Never Taught Me, Life, Love & Loss with Richard Pryor
- 2007 African American Literary Awards (nomination) - Jokes My Father Never Taught Me:Life, Love & Loss with Richard Pryor
- 2005 NAACP Theatre Award, Best Female Performer Equity (recipient) - Fried Chicken & Latkes
- 2005 NAACP Best Original Playwright Equity (nominated) - Fried Chicken & Latkes
- 2005 Invisible Theatre's Goldie Klein Guest Artist Award (recipient) - Fried Chicken & Latkes
- 2004 Los Angeles Ovation Awards, Best Solo Performance (nominated)
- Teresa Wiltz (December 6, 2006). "Time to Laugh, Time to Cry". The Washington Post.
- In her 2006 book Jokes My Father Never Taught Me, Pryor discusses what it was like for her to grow up black and Jewish
- "RAIN PRYOR: Pouring The Tea". Journals.aol.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Multiracial Celebrities". Blackflix.com. 1972-11-06. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
- "Rain Pryor & Mixed Rain Productions Inc - Home". Rainpryor.com. Retrieved 2011-03-10.