Melanie Griffiths and her Addiction to Prescription Drugs

melanie griffiths plastic surgery gone wrong

According to several media reports, Melanie Griffiths chose to go to a Californian rehab facility voluntarily to control her addiction to alcohol and painkillers. It was reportedly part of a “routine plan that was thought up between her and her doctors years ago,” her representative says. Lindsay Lohan and Kirsten Dunst are among other patients who have sought treatment at Cirque Lodge where Griffiths underwent treatment.

Melanie was always adamant that it was her family, husband Antonio Banderas, 12-year-old daughter Stella, son Alexander (24) and daughter Dakota (19) who supported her through the most trying times. “Overcoming addictions is tough but it can be made easier if you have someone that can offer support. My husband and family supported me so much through this journey and continue to do so.”

The reason Melanie checked in was her husband was demanding that she get clean and sober. He told her that if she didn’t get the help she needed it would be the end of their marriage.” reported Perez Hilton.

Many reports claimed that Melanie displayed symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and that her apparent need for her surroundings to be yellow is another factor in her bid to seek help.

Antonio Banderas on Melanie Griffiths rehab - precautionary

While Melanie’s obsessive-compulsive symptoms are pure speculation by column-inch-filling desperados, her previous addictions to prescription medication, alcohol and cocaine are well-documented, with the star having sought treatment twice previously.

The first time she checked into rehab was for cocaine and alcohol abuse after her divorce from her second husband, Steven Bauer, in 1987. Of this time, she says: “What I did was drink myself to sleep at night.”

If I wasn’t with someone, I was an unhappy girl.”

In 2000 she again went to rehab after becoming addicted to strong pain killers which she needed to ease a neck injury.

In 2009 she was seeking treatment again.

She shot to fame after her role in the 1988 film ‘Working Girl’, which saw her nominated for an Oscar for her feisty and alluring performance outshone that of fellow stars Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford. Melanie has been married four times, twice to the same man. She began dating Hollywood heavyweight Don Johnson – eight years her senior – when she was just 14 years old. The pair divorced six months after their wedding, which took place shortly after Melanie’s 18th. Five years later she married fellow actor Steven Bauer and the pair, who have a son together, divorced in 1987.

In 1989, after having finished rehab falling pregnant, she married ex-husband Don Johnson a second time but the marriage lasted only six years, Melanie walking away from Johnson due to his own problems with substance abuse.

Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffiths

In 1996 she married Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas, three years her junior. The couple have a daughter, Stella, and have publicly discussed their marital issues. She obsessed over her age and its effect on her looks, constantly worrying that Banderas would fall for one of his younger co-stars and leave her.

Jealousy reared its ugly head frequently throughout their relationship – all of it coming from her side. In a bid to retain her youthful good looks she has undergone plastic surgery. While she has never officially confirmed to having cosmetic surgery, the changes to her lips and eyes are undeniable. Many speculate she has had collagen implants as well as botox and a facelift. Rumours suggest that Banderas has since placed a ban on any further surgery and putting a lid on another obsession in the process.

Lindsay Lohan – The Complete Addict

Lindsay Lohan's face has changed somewhat in recent months. Surgery, d'ya think?

Wild child Lindsay Lohan began her career at a very young age and made her acting debut in the American soap opera ‘Another World’ when she was 10. One year later she played the role of both sly identical twins in ‘The Parent Trap’. Her career continued to soar when she landed leading roles in movies like ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Herbie: Fully Loaded’, ‘Freaky Friday’, ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen’ and ‘A Prairie Home Companion’. Then, in 2004, Lohan launched a pop career, releasing two albums that earned praise in the media.

But as with many child stars and with everything going for her, she began to capitulate in epic fashion. One moment he world of glitz and glamour lay at her feet, with movie roles and projects presented to her on a silver platter. She was in a relationship with ‘That 70s Show’ star Wilmer Valderrama, and it seemed as though nothing could ruin the success she had achieved.

Well, almost nothing.

A familiar state to see Lindsay Lohan in; the girl loved her excesses

 

Lohan discovered the excessive side of the celebrity world and began drinking and consuming drugs to cope with the pressure. The usually well-styled actress was beginning to show up in tabloid magazines with unflattering images of her stumbling out of nightclubs intoxicated, barely able to stand up. She also stumbled from one relationship to the next, her love life becoming one of the main subjects of tabloid journalism.

The paparazzi began to follow her everywhere she went, like so many vultures hoping to get the next drunken photo of the deteriorating star. In 2006 she began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for help with her addiction. Her antics ruined her reputation among Hollywood producers and directors and where she could once do no wrong, Lohan found herself struggling to land a role in anything.

She had her first stint in rehab in January 2007 at the Wonderland Clinic but after completing the 30-day stay she soon fell back into old habits.

In May 2007 she crashed her car and police found her in possession of cocaine. Further blood tests confirmed traces of the drug mixed with alcohol in her system and she was charged accordingly – driving under the influence of alcohol. She then checked into Promises Treatment Center for her second shot at rehabilitation. She left the clinic after a 45-day stay, but was again booked by police for driving under the influence of alcohol.

This led to a prolonged stay at the Cirque Lodge Treatment Center August and October 2007. During her time there she pleaded guilty to cocaine abuse and driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to one day in prison, 10 days of community service, three years of probation, and was also instructed to partake in an alcohol education program. She released a statement through her spokesperson saying: “It is clear to me that my life has become completely unmanageable because I am addicted to alcohol and drugs.”

Lindsay Lohan in Machete. She was no saint in that film either

Despite claims that she’s cleaned herself up, Lohan, has continued to appear in photographs consuming alcohol and many attribute her behaviour to the negative influence of DJane Samantha Ronson with whom she had a year long relationship.

Lindsay’s father Michael, who has himself battled addictions in the past, spoke out about his daughter’s addictions and his fears that she could end up dead. His tumultuous relationship with his daughter was covered heavily in the media but he vowed to help her, saying: ”I’m going to get her off the prescription drugs that she’s on. I hate it when people talk about illegal drug abuse because it’s not just drinking and illegal drugs that kill you. Prescription drugs can destroy and kill a person and are sometimes harder to stop. Look at Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson.”

While Michael did not mention which prescription drugs his daughter is taking, he did make his sentiments towards her health clear. “You know why Lindsay’s not acting in feature films right now? Because she can’t. Because the girl with all the talent is hidden and buried deep inside this fungus that’s grown because of the prescription drugs. She can’t be herself.”

James Brown's death caused by Pneumonia

James Brown in his halcyon days

The lives of celebrities are often perceived as easy or great by the public but they’re not always a bed of roses. Like any non-famous person they too have to deal with difficulties but with the added pressure of the public eye on them and perhaps few had it as rough as James Brown – the Godfather of Soul.

Brown stepped into the limelight in the late 50s and quickly drew admirers who loved to see his all-energy performances. During the 1960s he became legendary and his success remained at a peak until he passed away.

Known for his hard work and dedication, James joined the ‘Famous Flames’ in 1955 and recorded several smash hits, including ‘Please Please Please’, ‘Try Me’ and ‘(Do the) Mashed Potatoes’.

If the previous years helped establish him as a top act, his journey towards real success started with ‘Live at Apollo’ in 1963 where he wowed crowds with hits such as ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’, ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’, both of which were chart topping successes and became his signature tunes.

James Brown - the godfather of soul

In the 1980s he bridged the gap between music and film when he appeared in classic flicks like ‘The Blues Brothers’, ‘Doctor Detroit’, ‘Rocky IV’ and ‘Miami Vice’, all of which helped revive his flagging career. It was his versatility and determination that saw him strive for success in each of his ventures.

Despite his film success the years preceding his Hollywood bow were fraught with personal difficulties. Throughout 1982 he was all but lost to drug addiction and his escapades with the psychosis-inducing ‘PCP’ or ‘Angel Dust’; a chemical compound which gives insane highs and endows the user with almost superhuman strength and pain resistance, were well covered by the press.

James Brown caught in a crazed moment - angel dust and other vices almost cost him his career and life

In 1988 he was arrested after a high-speed car chase and for reportedly assaulting an officer, as well as drug-related charges. He was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison, but released after only three.

By the time of his release he had become a shadow of his former self and was still gripped by drug addiction. Something had to give and he eventually checked himself into a drug rehabilitation centre where he underwent intensive treatment for 90 days.

Brown was a new man after the treatment and he put all the drugs, high-speed chases and shotgun incidents behind him. Despite his new approach to life his health was always a concern, especially as he was diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age. Perhaps the years of drug use took its toll on him and played some part in his development of prostate cancer but again, with treatment and care he successfully overcame the illness.

After so many music hits, numerous awards, film appearances and publicly aired mayhem, James Brown passed away on Christmas day, 2006, from a heart failure brought on my complications with pneumonia.

Complications with Diabetes Contributed to Brittany Murphy's Death

Brittany Murphy at her healthiest looking

Former actress and drug abuser, Brittany Murphy, was found unresponsive in the shower by her mother who told paramedics that her ailing daughter suffered with Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, or ‘diabetes mellitus type 2’, is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, or when cells in the body ignore the insulin it produces.

Essentially, the body uses insulin to break down the sugar from food and transport it across through the blood system to cells. This conversion of sugar and starches makes glucose which is required for energy.

When the body’s cells do not obtain enough glucose due to a lack insulin production, or when the cells ignore the insulin, it can cause serious consequences. The body’s cells first begin to starve which leads to high levels of glucose in the blood. This can lead to organ damage with kidneys, liver and heart affected most commonly. It can also impair sight and can seriously damage nerves.

Brittany Murphy looking painfully thin. Eating disorders, drug overuse and diabetes contributed to her death.

Anyone suffering with diabetes, just as Brittany Murphy did, stand a much higher risk of suffering from heart attacks or dying as a result of cardiovascular disease.

Whether diabetes played a role in the death of the actress remains unknown for now but questions have been raised about the pressure on actresses to be ‘thin at all costs’ after Brittany’s anorexic struggles. It has been suggested that her eating disorder played a major part in her death.

Other factors mentioned as contributors were her minor heart condition.

Brittany Murphy in Clueless

Despite starring in films such as ‘8 Mile’, ‘Clueless’ and ‘Girl Interrupted’, Brittany Murphy’s substance abuse and eating disorders have been well documented. Clearly she was beset by mental health issues which ultimately led to her demise.

Upon their arrival at her house, paramedics tried to revive her but all attempts failed and she was pronounced dead on arrival at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Burt Reynolds on his Addiction to Painkillers

Burt Reynolds almost killed himself on Halcion

Moustache-toting Hollywood actor, Burt Reynolds, entered himself into a rehabilitation clinic in Florida in order to receive treatment for his addiction to painkillers. Reynolds fell into the dependency trap after undergoing surgery on his back but after the initial pain subsided he realized he couldn’t stop taking the medication. He checked himself into the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach although the tenure of his stay is unclear.

His manager, Erik Kritzer, issued a statement which said that Reynolds sought help after he “realized he was in the prison of prescription pain pills.”

According to further statements by Kritzer, Reynolds was hopeful that his very public battle against the painkiller addiction would prove to others that to recover from addiction they need to seek professional help or risk being stuck in a perpetual cycle of habitual behaviour and damaging every aspect of their life in the process.

The famous moustache - Burt Reynolds

He checked himself into rehab in order to regain control of his life,” Kritzer said in the statement. “Mr. Reynolds hopes his story will help others in a similar situation. He hopes they will not try to solve the problem by themselves, but realize that sometimes it is too tough to do on their own and they should seek help, as he did.”

But for the star of ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ this was not his first run in with prescription medication. In the 1980s he broke his jaw after an untrained stuntman hit him around the head with a metal chair whilst filming the very first scene of ‘City Heat’ in which he starred alongside Clint Eastwood. Due to injuries incurred by the mistake he was prescribed Halcion, a sleeping drug which was supposed to help him through the pain. Sadly Reynolds became addicted to them and blames his ‘strong constitution’ for allowing him to take up to 50 tablets a day.

50 Halcion a day?” One interviewer asked him.

Yeah, of the blue ones, strong ones. And still talking! “Uh Loni I’m gwong too gowhoa downshtairs.” She’d say, “What, I just gave you three sleeping pills.” My tolerance went up. I would get out of bed and take five pills. And I’d be awake and five or six hours later I’d take five or six more. So, yeah, 50 pills over a 24-hour period.“ He replied.

Burt Reynolds before the moustache took a hold

The jaw injury nearly cost him his career as at the time he was placed on a liquid diet which caused him to shed 50 pounds. He looks back upon that time as one of the most insane periods of his life but has since made good recoveries from both addictions – going cold turkey on the Halcion which resulted in an eight hour coma and doctors calling his wife in to say her final goodbyes..

Shortly after the Halcion episode rumours began to circulate that he had contracted HIV and that made his life even harder. Clearly the rumours were unfounded and Reynolds is still alive and well and certainly not showing any signs of having HIV or AIDS.

DJ Adam Goldstein's accidental death

DJ Adam 'AM' Goldstein before his death. He loved his sneakers.

Adam ‘DJ AM’ Goldstein was found in his apartment after a friend reportedly went to his apartment to check on him. There was no response at the door so he called the police who gained access to the star’s home where they found his body.

Police found several bottles of prescription medication in the DJ’s kitchen and a crack pipe was reported as lying near his body. DJ AM had previously battled a drug related problem and sought help for addiction, however, according to sources he been clean for nine years.

The coroner ruled that the DJ’s death was an accident, saying that he passed away from “acute intoxication” from ‘substance abuse’. The medical examiner stated at the time that Goldstein had died from the ‘combined effects’ of cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone (Vicodin), Ativan, Klonopin, Xanax, Benadryl and Levamisole.

Goldstein was found with eight undigested oxycontin pills in his stomach and one in his mouth although the circumstances surrounding his death are still not clear, a representative confirmed he was to enter rehab again for his addiction to prescribed medication.

DJ AM in happier times. Taken before his weight ballooned due to depression and other factors.

AT the time of his death the 36-year-old was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (specifically survivor’s guilt) after surviving a plane crash that left him seriously injured and killed four other passengers. It is thought that the emotional strain caused by the crash led him to begin using drugs again.

DJ AM and musician, Travis Barker, were the only survivors after a Learjet crashed during take-off in South Carolina. In an interview a month after the crash, Goldstein said: “There’s no reason why I lived and they didn’t. It’s something that I struggle with every day, you know, kind of wondering. But I’ve realized I’m never really going to know. I’m alive, I’m here, and I have another chance. So I have to do something better with my life this time.”

Friends of the deceased star, who previously dated socialite Nicole Richie, say his break-up with former girlfriend Hayley Wood left him devastated and may also have contributed to his return to drug use. A friend of the DJ told BANG showbiz: “She ended it, and he didn’t want it to end. The breakup hurt him. He hadn’t been in a good place lately. For the past week, he wasn’t really around, he was keeping to himself, and he was blowing people off.”

DJ Adam Goldstein at home with his cat.

The cause of death is still a source of speculation but the evidence around his death scene speak volumes and police say it was a suspected accidental drug overdose. Just one day before he was found dead, Adam left this message on his Twitter page: “New York, new york. Big city of dreams, but everything in new york ain’t always what it seems [sic].”

DJ AM was buried on September 1 and the ceremony lasted for two and a half hours. Hayley Wood addressed the crowd with a moving speech that contradicted her move to break off the relationship with Goldstein.

He was my soulmate and now he is my soul,” she said. “He is my amazing grace.”

As a former member of Crazy Town he also worked with Will Smith and Madonna. He recently joined forces with former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker to release a mix tape called ‘Fix Your Face’. The two toured in the US and it was during the tour that the traumatic plane crash occurred.

DJ ADam Goldstein doing his thing

He was one of the most sought-after DJs in the US, playing gigs regularly in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

During his long battle with drugs he entered rehab a few times and reflecting on his early 20s when he also struggled with depression and weight he said: “Drugs became my identity.”

At one stage he would finish a gig and return home in the early hours of the morning to take drugs alone and in the following months he ballooned to around 300 pounds.

A failed suicide attempt brought an epiphany. He put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger but it jammed, “I can’t even kill myself,” he thought at the time.

Adam, however, made a defining decision in his life and vowed to get off the drugs and lose weight. He underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost a whopping 120 pounds.

His representatives issued this statement, following the DJ’s unexpected death: “The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear. Out of respect for his family and loves ones, please respect their privacy at this time.”

Travis Barker paid tribute via twitter: “I’ll never forget everything we’ve been thru and every time i play the drums i’ll think of you. U were an amazing friend/DJ/human being,” and “Rest In Peace my brother, this really f***s me up. [sic]

Hollywood Icon Tony Curtis Died of a Heart Attack

A young Tony Curtis

The handsome and enigmatic star, Tony Curtis, with a memorable and diverse acting career that spanned over six decades and roles in over 140 Hollywood movies, died in his Nevada home of a heart attack.

The Oscar-nominated actor is still as popular posthumously as he was when alive thanks to his performances in films like Some Like it Hot‘ alongside Marilyn Monroe. Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed the star numerous times said in tribute: “He was a very fine actor. Some Like it Hot is one of the greatest comedies of all time.

The man who made it, Billy Wilder, did not suffer fools so for Tony Curtis to work with him and make that film shows just how good he was.

He was an extraordinary man. Hollywood tried to make him into a sex symbol in the 1950s and 1960s but he was his own man.”

Tony Curtis with Marilyn Monroe in 1959

Curtis was a lady’s man and was married six times. He also had a slew of high profile girlfriends and was considered by many to be an absolute womaniser. His charm and wit led him to many adventures but also into difficult times with cocaine and alcohol abuse. One of the greatest tragedies of his life was when his 23-year-old son died of a heroin overdose in 1994.

When his acting career thinned out and the big screen no longer played such a central role in his life, Curtis took to painting.

Tony Curtis in his later days

I’m a recovering alcoholic. Painting has given me such a great pleasure in life, helped me to recover.” He certainly had a magic touch: the previous year he sold over $1 million worth of his art on the first day of an exhibition.

There was a vanity to the man and he underwent several bouts of surgery to keep himself looking young and fresh faced. He was plagues by ill health in his later years though, suffering from chronic pulmonary disease and pneumonia which left him in a coma for a number of days and following that he was confined to a wheelchair.

The actor’s family spokesman told the press that he passed away peacefully in his bed next to his wife.

This Is The End – Over Thirty Years Since Jim Morrison Passed Away

Jim Morrison of The Doors

It‘s been over thirty years since rock legend and voice of an era, Jim Morrison’s life ended in Paris. Fans gather on every anniversary of his passing around his grave in Père Lachaise cemetery, to pay tribute to The Doors’ legend.

There is usually a strong security presence in and around the cemetery on these occasions, as French police anticipate trouble due to previous anniversaries being marred by a handful of idiots who ruin what should be a respectful moment for other, more sensible fans.

It was around a decade ago that drunken ‘fans’ stormed the cemetery gates when officials attempted to close the cemetery, at closing time in a display of utter contempt and stupidity.

The shrine has been visited by thousands of tourists who come to lay flowers and other tributes on the grave and Morrison shares his final resting place with the likes of such highly esteemed names as Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Bizet, Chopin Édith Piaf, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and her Alice B Toklas.

Jim Morrison's grave

Sadly not every tribute is respectful or intelligently thought out as evidenced by the beer bottles, ready-rolled spliffs, cigarettes and clumsily written tributes, obviously hastily scribed in a moment of drunken melancholia that crudely decorated his grave and are frequently cleaned up by staff at the cemetery. Drinking alcohol and smoking weed does not make someone a kindred spirit of Jim Morrison.

The spectacle appears is as if they were celebrating the lifestyle that killed him, rather than the musician himself; much like putting toy cars on a road accident victim’s grave or wearing a crucifix and expecting Jesus to come back to earth again.

Alcohol has now been banned in the cemetery and since in the last few years the celebrations have been much more civilised.

Jim Morrison and The Doors were the seminal psychedelic 60s group whose sound still continues to conjure up an era of musical, spiritual and sexual decadence that is sadly long gone (just the sex remains), and probably more so than any other band of that era. Morrison’s unique vocals and electrifying sex appeal combined with tousled hair and an animalistic stage presence that did nothing to hamper the band’s success.

His rugged good looks combined with sophisticated lyrics often of social importance and love of classical poetry and literature made him almost irresistible to young women of the era who were just enjoying the freedom of their spirituality and sexuality as if they’d finally been set free of their cages.

Jim MOrrison encapsulates an era

Few songs encapsulate an era quite as well as ‘Light My Fire‘, and the swinging, drug dazed, sexually ambiguous sixties explode into life with that unmistakeable keyboard riff.

In 1971 the singer defected to Paris to avoid the increasingly inventive groupies and escape his decadent lifestyle so that he could focus on writing. Very sadly he was found dead in his bathtub three months later, aged just 27. The coroner pronounced a verdict of death by natural courses, despite other rumours of lethal cocktails of drugs, alcohol and asthma.

The Doors are another example of a seminal rock band of the calibre and with the longevity that we no longer see; there is no modern equivalent. Now that computers and surgery have made it easy for anyone to become an artist, model or songwriter, no one is achieving the same levels of creativity with any consistency anymore. 

Jackass Ryan Dunn's High Speed Death

Ryan Dunn

Given the crazy nature by which they lived it was perhaps inevitable that one of the “Jackass” cast would eventually wind up on the ‘died too young’ list. Ryan Dunn, the unofficial 4th member of the Margera family, was the first to go when his Porsche left the road at high speed and collided with a tree. In the ensuing eruption and had the impact not finished them, Dunn and his passenger were killed in a ball of flames.

He had been socialising with friends at Barnaby’s of America in West Chester a few hours prior to the accident and it was reported at the time that he’d consumed three Miller Lites and three ‘girly’ shots over a four hour period, this according to a friend who said he was “not too drunk to drive”.

Police at West Goshen reported that Dunn was identified by an eye witness on the scene who recognised his tattoos as he was pulled from the wreckage.

It was at around 2:30 a.m. on Route 322 that the accident happened and police state that his vehicle was travelling at such a speed that it hurtled through 40 metres of forest before hitting the tree.

Their statement read, “Preliminary investigation revealed that speed may have been a contributing factor to the accident.”

The manager of Barnaby’s told NBC Philadelphia that “Ryan didn’t appear drunk before he left” at 2 a.m.

As an almost permanent fixture in the Margera household, Ryan was considered part of the family by April, mother of famous-for-nothing, Bam, who said, “He’s just the sweetest guy you’d ever want to know and he would do anything for you.”

She and husband Phil Margera paid a simple yet tearful tribute to Dunn whom they considered a son.

I know the entire ‘Jackass’ family is devastated and all of West Chester is devastated,” she said.

Jackass star Ryan Dunn tragically killed in car accident **Archive Photos

According to April, Dunn was renowned for driving excessively fast and she often told him to slow it down. He had been involved in a bad accident a little over ten years ago but that didn’t deter him from putting his foot down.

He drove too fast and I yelled at him all the time about that,” said April.

In the immediate aftermath of his death, The Jackass crew were largely unreachable but Johnny Knoxville tweeted, “Today I lost my brother Ryan Dunn. My heart goes out to his family and his beloved Angie. RIP Ryan, I love you buddy.”

MTV followed that up with a similar message which simply read, “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of a member of the MTV family, Ryan Dunn. Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”

 

Bam Margera, Dunn’s best friend was in Arizona at the time of the accident but in the following days, after he emerged from his grief, he engaged in some verbal aggravation on Twitter after various journalists insulted his best friend. He cited their lack of respect as the main reason for his tirades.

Since Dunn’s death the Jackass party has dwindled somewhat although plans are afoot to make a new film.

Richard Pryor – Multiple Sclerosis, Cardiac Arrest and Guns Don't Kill Cars

The famous Richard Pryor stare

Many have rightly labelled Richard Pryor as a comic genius. The American, who shot to fame in the late 1960s with his course stand up routines became famous for speaking his mind on matters ranging from race and politics to health and sex.

Some of this most popular shows include ‘… Is It Something I Said?’ and ‘Live On The Sunset Strip’. Richard may well be remembered as a controversial comic with a foul mouth from which cascaded profanity and scorn, but he also made the break into the acting industry where he sustained a long and successful career.

And that star-studded career was at a peak for more than two decades; comedians who followed Pryor often admitted to aspiring to his heights and career-wise he was an absolute beacon.

He was the Charlie Parker of comedy, a master of telling the truth that influenced every comedian that came after him,” said Quincy Jones as he paid tribute to Pryor shortly after his death.

The legacy that he leaves will forever be with us.”

Richard Pryor

Her personal life was a stark contrast to his professional career, married seven times to five women, it was also well recorded that Richard was partial to drugs and had been involved in domestic violence disputes.

The comic who died aged 65, reportedly shot at his wife’s car with a Magnum .357 in 1978 while she tried to leave him. It became one ofhis most famous domestic disputes and one which he included in his stand-up routineas part of the ‘Wanted/Richard Pryor – Live In Concert’ show

They got Magnums too,” he said of the police. “But they don’t kill cars. They kill nig-gars.”

He hit the headlines again in 1980 when, after a cocaine binge, he doused himself in rum and set himself a light, the incident highlighting his many personal problems.

Richard has always been a survivor though and has lived through two heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis [MS] in 1986 and although at first he was given no indication of what lay ahead, a few months after the diagnosis he was hit hard by the illness.

To be diagnosed was the hardest thing because I didn’t know what they were talking about and the doctor said `Don’t worry, in three months you’ll know.’

So I went about my business and then, one day, it jumped me. I couldn’t get up. … Your muscles trick you; they did me.”

Richard Pryor 1979

Although he attempted to continue working it soon became evident that his MS was progressing and he slowly became a mere shadow of himself. He still made cameo appearances and claimed royalties from his classic work but the strictures of his illness all but ended any hopes of working full-time.

After nearly two decades of battling MS, Richard Pryor passed away due to cardiac arrest in December 2005.