Iconic filmmaker comic actor Rudy Ray Moore aka Dolemite dead at 81.
The Disco Godfather died of complications from diabetes, his brother Gerald told media.
Though he was little known to the mainstream, Moore’s canon of blaxploitation flicks and comedy albums were a major influence on comedians and later rap artists.
"Without Rudy Ray, there’d be no Snoop Dogg and that’s for real," the rapper wrote in the liner notes for the 2006 release of the soundtrack to Dolemite 1975.
Moore himself was not burdened by a lack of modesty, tooting his own funkadelic horn.
"These guys Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac claim they’re The Kings of Comedy," Moore told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "They may be funny, but they ain’t no kings. That title is reserved for Rudy Ray Moore and Redd Foxx."
His character Dolemite first appeared onstage as part of Moore’s comedy rap.
By the time he made his onscreen debut in the titular film Moore was the ultimate ghetto hero – a bad ass mofo, a kung-fu killer-diller, dressed to thrill and determined to protect the hood from THE MAN (be he brotha or not). Dolemite was pimp daddy to a kung-fu-fighting phalanx of afro-topped hooker and he was renowned for his sexual prowess – no enhancement required.
But Moore hated the term blaxploitation and took umbrage when his auteur cinema was referred to thusly.
" When I was a boy and went to the movies, I watched Roy Rogers and Tim Holt and those singing cowboys killing Indians, but they never called those movies ‘Indian exploitation’ — and I never heard The Godfather’ called ‘I-talian exploitation,’ " he said in a 2002 interview.
Among Moore’s cult classics are The Human Tornado, Disco Godfather, The Great White Hype, Big Money Hu$tla$, Shaolin Dynamite , A Stupid Movie For Jerks and Vampire Assassin.