ABC News featured a short documentary about comedian Richard Pryor’s life through his last days. The child of a prostitute with a father who was a pimp, Pryor grew up in a peculiarly toxic environment. He described his childhood as hell with no one to talk to and witnessed his mother service men then kiss him goodnight. Forever tainting his view of women his tumultuous upbringing and personal demons forced him to turn his pain into comedy.
In the early 60’s when the Rat Pack were at the height of their careers, Pryor infiltrated the comic world dominated by white comedians and eventually made history.
The documentary gives a look inside Richard Pryor’s life and speaks to several of his past girlfriends and peers about his drug abuse. Pryor had seven marriages to five women and several children. Former girlfriend Patricia VonHeitman revealed that her first date with Pryor was a trip to buy cocaine and before meeting the comedian she had never even spoken to a black man—let alone kiss one before. VonHeitman shares that when they were once strapped for cash he told her to find a trick at the Beverly Hills Hotel and bring back the money. When she wasn’t able to complete the job she alleges Pryor beat her with a bottle.
Watch the explosive documentary below.