Richard Pryor died today.
Now, I've never considered myself a Richard Pryor fan, per se, but I've usually laughed with or at him, I've enjoyed his work, and I've respected him. I liked - and hated - him in "Superman III". But never felt a huge personal connection with the man.
But he was "our" generation. Though (and selfishly I'll say) happily still OLDER than me, in general I consider him a "contemporary". He was part of OUR generation's entertainment and pop culture.
Yet, he's dead at 65. Sure, many reasons why that may not be a surpise... but, a cultural contemporary dead at 65. Somehow, this one bothers me, more than perhaps I think it should.... more than even the death of Jimmy Doohan, De Kelley or the Great Bird of the Galaxy, all of whom I've felt a closer bond with (and two of whom I've met personally, all of whom I've met).
Not closely as much as John Belushi. Or John Candy.
Shit, getting older brings some keen sense of mortality with it, doesn't it? I mean, 65... I can see that now pretty easily.
Pryor had a tough life and pushed past the edge a few times. But still, this feels a bit personal.