AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Rudy Ray Moore, a raunchy 1970s comedian who played the title role of a flashy pimp in the movie Dolemite and influenced a generation of rappers, has died. He was 81.
Moore died Sunday evening at an Akron nursing home from complications of diabetes, said his brother, Gerald Moore.
Services will be held in Akron and Spokane, Wash., where his mother and other family members live, he said.
Rudy Ray Moore was part of the heyday of black “party records.” His stage personality featured blunt sex routines but, unlike contemporaries Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, he never crossed over to mainstream white audiences.
The Washington Post said in a 1992 profile that Moore was “an astounding renderer of ‘toasts,’ — elaborately boastful, profane and scatological tales of life in the old-style urban subculture of pimps, prostitutes, gamblers and badmen. His husky, down-home voice is ideal for it.”
Moore said he developed the style, later a feature of rap music, by listening to men sitting outside joints “drinking beer and lying and talking (expletive).”
Moore played the fast-talking pimp and title character in the 1975 film Dolemite. In later years Moore collaborated with 2 Live Crew, Big Daddy Kane and Snoop Dogg.
Moore’s other acting credits during the Blaxploitation era of black action films included The Human Tornado in 1976 and Disco Godfather in 1979.