Milestones: America's Most Beloved Comic Rebel

When he broke into TV in the mid-1960s, on shows like Merv Griffin and Ed Sullivan, RICHARD PRYOR--who died last week of a heart attack at age 65--was a cute, rubber-faced young comic with a knack for physical comedy and a childlike sweetness; in one of his earliest bits, he impersonated a band of scared grade-schoolers performing Rumpelstiltskin. Within a few years, he had become America's most celebrated comic revolutionary. Frustrated with the safe material he was doing on TV and in nightclubs, he walked out on a gig in Vegas, moved to Berkeley, Calif., and began talking about the things...

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