(born July 16 1969
) is an American actress
Pryor was born in Los Angeles, California
, the daughter of Shelley R. Bonis and African American
comedian Richard Pryor
. Her maternal grandfather, Herbert Bonis, was Danny Kaye
's manager for 35 years. Rain Pryor's mother was a Jewish
go-go dancer and Rain was largely raised with her Jewish grandparents who taught her about Jewish culture. Her mother was urged by her family to put Rain up for adoption, rather than deal with bringing up a child "in a world that wasn’t ready for biracial children. Rain was rejected by the African Americans and the Jewish Americans in her life. Growing up as a biracial Jewish child was a challenge that she only recently resolved by performing, using her identity as both a black and a Jew to create a unique voice in Fried Chicken and Latkes
. In regards to her background, Pryor has joked that while growing up she felt "proud, but guilty about it.
Pryor graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1987. She tried to commit suicide twice as a child. After the second attempt, at 16, her father gave her a sports car and urged her to drive it home, even though she had no driver’s license. Having overcome her own struggles with drug abuse, she has since acted as an addiction counselor and given talks on drugs and alcohol at high schools. Her father's multiple sclerosis affliction led her to become an activist promoting research of the disease.
Pryor's first major role, and the one in which she was probably seen by the largest audience, was as T.J. on the sitcom Head of the Class
from 1988 to 1991. She costarred in the Showtime series Rude Awakening
. Pryor created and toured in the award-winning show based on her life, Fried Chicken and Latkes
in 2004 and 2005. She has also appeared in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006.
Pryor has now tried her hand at writing and Harper Collins published her book Jokes My Father Never Taught Me in 2006.