Years in the making, Richard Pryor statue to stand in Peoria

SHARE Years in the making, Richard Pryor statue to stand in Peoria
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Richard Pryor, seen here performing in 1977, died in 2005. | AP file

PEORIA — A years-long effort to honor comedian Richard Pryor with a statue in his hometown of Peoria is coming to a conclusion.

Sculptor Preston Jackson unveils the 9-foot bronze statue Sunday in the Warehouse District. The comedian and actor was born and raised in Peoria. He died in 2005.

The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that it was fellow comedian George Lopez who helped get the effort over the hump with a November benefit featuring comics at the Peoria Civic Center. It raised enough money to cover the $130,000 cost of the project.

But Jackson also had to overcome initial hesitancy from some in Peoria who objected to honoring an entertainer who abused drugs and was known for foul-mouthed humor.

Jackson argued that Pryor’s art overshadowed his personal failings.

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