Ricky Harris, Heat actor and comedian, dies aged 54

Def Comedy Jam regular who found fame in the 1990s draws tributes from Snoop Dogg and Cedric the Entertainer

The actor and comedian Ricky Harris, who made a name for himself as a standup comedian in the 90s and onscreen in films such as Michael Manns heist classic Heat, has died aged 54.

The stars manager confirmed his death on Monday and peers of the performer, including Snoop Dogg and Cedric the Entertainer, paid tribute to him on social media. The cause of his death has not been confirmed, but his manager told the Los Angeles Times that he suffered a heart attack two years ago.

Harris was from Long Beach, California, and was a close friend of Snoop Dogg, featuring on his albums, on which he performed skits. Snoop Dogg said: I lost one of my dear friends today. [He] was the first comedian to make it from Long Beach, the first entertainer from Long Beach to make it. My big brother.

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Harris was a regular on the Russell Simmons-produced Def Comedy Jam, with the likes of Chris Rock and Chris Tucker, who led the new generation of African American comics that emerged in the 90s.

Harriss acting career began with Poetic Justice in 1993, in which he starred alongside Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson, and two years later <a draggable=”true” href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ1-7J3XKYo” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>he appeared in Heat with Al Pacino.

Harris also had roles on the small screen, appearing on Everybody Hates Chris and Moesha, and last year he made an appearance in the Sundance favourite Dope.

The contemporary funk artist <a draggable=”true” href=”https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/03/dam-funk-snoop-dogg-stones-throw-hudson-mohawke-ariel-pink” data-link-name=”in” body link” class=”u-underline”>Dam Funk wrote about Harriss little-known musical past on his Instagram page. Funk said he used to play drums for Harriss band, which he would use on comedy nights, and said Harris also appeared in a G-funk group called the Dove Shack and another group called the Ghetto Clownz.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/tvandradioblog/2016/dec/27/ricky-harris-dies-heat-actor-comedian

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