Paul Mooney

In the Mix


Paul Mooney, the actor-comedian famous for his roles in “The Buddy Holly Story” and “Bamboozled,” has died at 79. 

Mooney passed away Wednesday morning in Oakland, California, his daughter Spring Mooney confirmed on Twitter. The cause of death was a heart attack, according to reports.

“Give me a moment,” Spring said in the emotional tweet. “My best friend just died and my world is forever SHOOK !!! I really can’t put into words right now my feelings .. know that I LOVE THIS MAN AND I AM BROKEN.” 

Mooney was best known for playing Sam Cooke opposite Oscar nominee Gary Busey in 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story.” He also played Junebug in Spike Lee’s acclaimed 2000 comedy “Bamboozled.” 

The Shreveport, Louisiana, native got his start as a writer, backing legendary stand-up comedian Richard Pryor. He went on to write for Fox’s “In Living Color.” 

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1970: Photo of Paul Mooney Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 2004, Mooney landed a high-profile role — playing Negrodamus — in a couple of skits on close friend and comic Dave Chappelle’s smash hit “Chappelle’s Show.” 

In 2006, Mooney told The Post that his controversial BFF has an “innocence” and “little boy quality” that he admired, adding that he was worried about the future of stand-up comedy.

“We need people who are talented, creative and speak the truth,” Mooney said of Chappelle. “It’s a dying breed.”

Paul Mooney wrote and acted throughout his long career.

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