Fried Chicken & Latkes
“Just because I'm a Pryor doesn't mean that I'm a standup comedian. I'm funny, but I'm not a standup by any means. I sing, I do many things...I really do consider myself John Leguizamo meets Bette Midler!” Rain Pryor
American actress and comedienne Rain Pryor, daughter of legendary funny man Richard Pryor, is known as the creator and star of the hit stage show “Fried Chicken and Latkes” (2004-2005), which is based on her life. She picked up the 2005 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Female Performer Equity and the 2005 Invisible Theatre's Goldie Klein Guest Artist Award for her efforts. Pryor first came to fame as Theola June “T.J.” Jones on the ABC comedy series “Head of Class,” which she played from 1988 to 1991, and then as Jackie Garcia on Showtime's “Rude Awakening,” from 1998 to 1999. Pryor is also a jazz/blues vocalist, a career she started in 1993, and an award nominating author. Her book, “Jokes My Father Never Taught Me, Life, Love & Loss with Richard Pryor” (2006) was nominated for the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Best New Author Biography and the 2007 African American Literary Award.
Ms. Pryor is a spokesperson for Multiple Sclerosis. She has actively raised money for MS research by headlining national MS events around the US and overseas. She is also a highly sought after speaker on issues of Multicultural diversity in the media and education. Pryor dealt with drug addiction for numerous years but has been clean since 1993. She has since acted as an addiction counselor and spoke at high schools about her past struggles with drugs and alcohol dependency. Pryor has a daughter named Lotus Marie (born 2008).
“I had no self-esteem earlier in my life. I am a co-dependent-I drank because, if you drank,I drank. I lost everything I owned in a relationship. I lost a house, a fancy car, a bank account, because I was like 'What can I buy for youu in order for you to stay with me?' I really had to learn that I could love myself as I am, that I didn't have to be Halle Berry to be beautiful and feel good about my life.” Rain Pryor
Childhood and Family:
Rain Pryor was born on July 16, 1969, in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of American comedian Richard Pryor and his second wife, Shelley R. Bonis, a Jewish go-go dancer. Her parents married between 1968 and 1969. Rain was mostly raised by her Jewish grandparents, from which she got the lessons of Jewish culture. As a biracial child, she was rejected by the American Africans and the Jewish Americans. Therefore, she created a unique voice in her solo show “Fried Chicken and Latkes” that looks into racism in the late 60's and early 1970s. Rain graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1987, the same school attended by Angelina Jolie, Michael Klesic, Nicolas Cage, Corbin Bernsen, Lenny Kravitz, David Schwimmer, Breckin Meyer, Jonathan Silverman, and Richard Dreyfuss.
On April 1, 2008, Rain gave birth to a daughter, Lotus Marie.
Head of Class
After graduating from high school, Rain Pryor kicked off her professional acting career by joining the cast of the ABC sitcom “Head of Class” in its third season in 1988. Playing Theola June “T.J.” Jones, she would remain with the show until it ended in 1991. During her stint on the show, Pryor portrayed Francie in the “CBS Schoolbreak Special” episode called “The Frog Girl” (1989), provided the voice of BB in the animated TV series “Kid 'n' Play” (1990) and worked with Whoopi Goldberg and Garrett Morris in the short film “Blackbird Fly” (1991).
Pryor returned to the small screen in 1995 when she landed the role of Annie Springer in “Stand,” an episode of David E. Kelley's hit medical drama, “Chicago Hope.” She went on to play the regular role of Jackie Garcia, the lipstick lesbian drug addict, in the Showtime comedy series “Rude Awakening,” opposite Sherilyn Fenn, Lynn Redgrave and Jonathan Penner. She was on the show during the first two seasons from 1998 to 1999.
In 1999, Pryor starred with Juliette Garrison and Candy Ford in the film “Little Girl,” which was directed and written by Garrison. In the following year, she appeared in the short “Memoirs of a So-Called Loose Woman,” was cast as Lupe in “Angels!,” a comedy film directed and written by Rico Martinez and starring Ruben Zambrano, John Stapleton and Sutan Amrull, and appeared as shopper in the box office hit “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which was helmed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey.
In 2003, Pryor made a guest appearance in an episode of “The Division” called “Cradle Will Rock.” She then played Willa in the 2004 short film “F*Stop,” by Roberta Degnore, and guest starred in an episode of “Higglytown Heroes” called “Cry Baby Pookie/Wait for Me” (2005).
Pryor created, wrote and co-produced the award winning show based on her life, “Fried Chicken & Latkes.” The show had a highly successful four month run at the Canon Theater in Beverly Hills, California in 2004. She also appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006. Pryor won a 2005 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Female Performer Equity and an Invisible Theatre's Goldie Klein Guest Artist Award for the show. The show also brought her an NAACP nomination for Best Original Playwright Equity and a Los Angeles Ovation nomination for Best Solo Performance. Her other 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 premier of “Ella, Meet Marilyn.” In addition, she appeared in the Los Angeles productions of Eve Ensler's, “Vagina Monologues,” opposite Nora Dunn and Charlene Tilton, “Joan,” where she portrayed Joan of Arc, “Cookin' With Gas,” “The Exonerated,” with Aidan Quinn, and “The Who's Tommy” at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Apart from acting, Pryor is a jazz/blues singer since 1993. She has played to sold out crowds in Los Angeles, DC, Hong Kong, Scotland, and London. In 2006, she released a Jazz Standards CD “Rain Pryor Live in London” in the UK. Pryor is also a published writer. Her book, “Jokes My Father Never Taught Me: Life, Love and Loss with Richard Pryor,” was released by Harper Collins in 2006. The book brought her a 2007 NAACP Image nomination for Best New Author Biography and a 2007 African American Literary Award nomination.
Marin Services For Women Founders: 2008
NAACP Theatre: Best Female Performer Equity, “Fried Chicken & Latkes,” 2005
Invisible Theatre's Goldie Klein Guest Artist : “Fried Chicken & Latkes,” 2005