R.I.P. Rudy Ray Moore
All sound and fury,
By Randy Harward
Today the world is down one bad motherfucker. Actor,
comedian, and singer Rudy Ray Moore—more popularly known as the swashbuckling
blaxploitation hero Dolemite—passed away yesterday after “a long bout with
diabetes and obscurity,” according to his MySpace page.
Moore was a pioneer in the field of raunchy comedy, releasing
outrageous party records in the 1960s-70s that pushed the boundaries of good
taste and paved the way for countless pottymouthed comics and rappers to come.
His onscreen persona, the fuckin’, fightin’ Dolemite, is an icon of American popular
culture, especially the blaxploitation film genre along with Shaft, Super Fly, Blacula, Coffy, and Welcome Home Brother
Charles. Stereotypical, and deliberately pandering to black audiences,
these films portrayed black men as ass-kickin’ lovermen—usually with a grudge
against Whitey. Moore’s films were the genre’s B- and even C-level, with
Dolemite’s trademark bad acting and fighting, but regarded as classics
nonetheless because few blaxploitation stars—Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Jim
Brown, Fred Williamson—could match the verve and humor Moore displayed in Dolemite, its sequel The Human Tornado, and Petey Wheatstraw, The Devil’s Son-in-Law.
Rest in peace, Dole.
from the Rudy Ray Moore MySpace page:
filmmaker, comedian, singer, Godfather of Rap and King of the Party Records,
Rudolph Frank Moore better known as Rudy Ray Moore or Dolemite has left this
A 60 + year veteran of
the stage, the first x rated comedian, one of the first African American
filmmakers and the third most sampled man in the world, his self made comedy
records and films have inspired and influenced generations from a thousand
walks of life and a hundred nations.
He had recently
finished work on “The Dolemite Explosion” with longtime friend and
costar Jimmy Lynch (his first self-made film in 30 years), an album of soul
ballads called “Let Me Sing To You Before I Drift Away” with his
daughter Rusty, and had been Highlighted by Hadjii in an episode of
“Somebodies” and was looking forward to a resurgence and a country
After a long battle
with diabetes and obscurity, he passed peacefully on Sunday at the age of 81.
He was a good God
fearing man who loved his friends and family.