Actor, comedian and writer Paul Mooney died of a heart attack in his Oakland, California home. He was 79.
Mooney's death was first announced by former CNN contributor Ronald Martin on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Martin wrote that the star's cousin Rudy Ealy "just called me from Paul's phone and said he passed away two hours ago after suffering a heart attack at his home in Oakland," California.
Ealy told Martin paramedics worked "valiantly" to save Mooney who suffered from dementia for years. Ealy had been living with the star to care for him.
Mooney's publicist also confirmed his death to Insider, while his rep told The Hollywood Reporter that his death occurred at 5:30 a.m. local time.
The Louisiana native infused racism and social justice into his standup comedy acts throughout his career. In addition to writing his own jokes, Mooney wrote much of comedian Richard Pryor's standup comedy material.
Mooney was also a staff writer for shows like Sanford and Son, Good Times, Saturday Night Live, The Richard Pryor Show, In Living Color and Chappelle's Show.
He acted on several television series, including Chappelle's Show, The Larry Sanders Show, Good Times, and The Richard Pryor Show, as well as in films like The Buddy Holly Story (1978), portraying Sam Cooke, and Bamboozled (2000).
Mooney was a closeted bisexual who was accused of molesting Pryor's son, Richard Pryor Jr.
Pryor's ex-bodyguard, Rashon Khan, alleged that Mooney had molested Pryor's son when Pryor Jr. was a child. Khan also alleged that Pryor contemplated hiring a hitman to have Mooney killed.
Pryor Sr.'s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor, confirmed the story.
Mooney is survived by his four children, Shane, Dwayne, Daryl, and Spring. A son, Symeon Mooney, was killed in 2001.
Mooney reportedly began dating singer Chaka Khan in 2018.