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Celebrity Dirt

Comedian Paul Mooney takes part in a discussion panel after the world premiere screening of "That's What I'm Talking About" at The Museum of Television & Radio January 30, 2006 in New York City.

Paul Mooney, the pioneering comic and actor, has died at the age of 79, his rep Cassandra Williams told The Hollywood Reporter.

According to his family, Mooney died at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California. The paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive him after he suffered a heart attack, gossip web site TMZ reports.

Mooney, who’s been out of the public eye for a few years, had also reportedly been suffering from dementia for some time and was staying with a family member, the gossip outlet reports.

Paul Mooney, born Paul Gladney, was a comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor. He is best known as a writer for comedian Richard Pryor, playing singer Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story, Junebug in Bamboozled, and his appearances on Chappelle’s Show.