Rudy Ray Moore, the raunchy comedian who had a brief career in the blaxploitation genre, has passed away yesterday, October 19, in Akron, Ohio from complications of diabetes. He was 81.
Although Moore started his entertainment career as an R&B singer before transitioning to standup comedy. Known for outrageous and frank routines about sex, Moore recorded several albums of material which became hits at “record parties.” Unlike his contemporaries Redd Foxx and Richard Pryor, Moore never managed to make the leap to a more mainstream success.
In 1975, Moore spun one of the characters in his stage act, a tough, streetwise hustler by the name of Dolemite, into a film. The movie Dolemite provided popular enough to warrant a sequel, The Human Tornado, the following year. Moore would star in a handful of other blaxploitation films including Petey Wheatstraw (1977) and Disco Godfather (1979).
Moore would find a resurgence of popularity in the 1990s when rap artists would rediscover and be inspired by his character Dolemite. In more recent years, he has collaborated on musical projects with Big Daddy Kane, Insane Clown Posse, 2 Live Crew and Snoop Dogg.