Richard Pryor Freebasing Incident Home- Northridge, CA
Posted by: calgriz
N 34° 13.713 W 118° 30.636
11S E 360868 N 3788529
Quick Description: Richard Pryor's home where he set himself on fire after freebasing cocaine while drinking 151-proof rum. He ran down Parthenia St. from his Northridge, California home until subdued by police.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 8:52:29 PM
Waymark Code: WM80Y8
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor III was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful, vulgar, and profane language and racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style.
The freebasing incident
On June 9, 1980, during the making of the film, Bustin' Loose, Pryor set himself on fire after freebasing cocaine while drinking 151-proof rum. He ran down Parthenia St. from his Northridge, California home until subdued by police. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for burns covering more than half of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. His daughter, Rain Pryor has stated that Pryor poured high-proof rum over his body and set himself on fire in a bout of drug-induced psychosis.
Pryor incorporated a description of the incident into his "final" comedy show Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip in 1982. He joked that the event was caused by dunking a cookie into a glass of low-fat and pasteurized milk, causing an explosion. At the end of the bit, he poked fun at people who told jokes about it by waving a lit match and saying, "What's this? It's Richard Pryor running down the street."
After his "final performance", Pryor did not stay away from stand-up comedy long. In 1983 he filmed and released a new concert film and accompanying album, Richard Pryor: Here and Now, which he directed himself. He then wrote and directed a fictionalized account of his life, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling.