Rain Pryor (born July 16, 1969) is an American actress and comedian. She is the daughter of the late comedian Richard Pryor.
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 award-winning solo show Fried Chicken and Latkes explores racism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 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 The Tavis Smiley Show.
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 show received four stars 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)
In 2002, Pryor married family therapist Kevin Kindlin; they divorced in 2006.
In 2007, she began dating Yale Partlow, a Baltimore nursing student/meditation teacher/police officer. After many miscarriages, she gave birth to their daughter Lotus Marie on April 1, 2008. Divorced again, Pryor currently resides in Baltimore.