BY BANDINI • AUGUST 12, 2019
For 50 years, Rudy Ray Moore was a force in comedy. A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Moore learned to command audiences as both a preacher as well as a nightclub dancer. Eventually moving to comedy, Moore would begin a recording career in the late 1950s that lasted until his death in 2008.
Rudy Ray Moore’s career sustained thanks in large part to “Dolemite.” In the comedian’s Los Angeles Times obituary, it was reported that he overheard raunchy stories of a character with that name while working in a Hollywood, California. Moore took that act to the stage, portraying a character that spoke freely of sex, prostitution, and lots of non-mainstream subject matters.
Through this act, Moore eventually took “Dolemite” to film. In 1975 he released an eponymous film. Moore reprised the role in sequels and other films, including the Dr. Dre-and-Fab 5 Freddy-directed Murder Was The Case. As a Black comedian operating outside of the mainstream or traditional industry, Rudy Ray Moore became a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. His films, his albums, and his form of expression.