Chris Rock (full name: Christopher Julius Rock) is an American standup comedian, actor, director, producer, singer, and writer. He started his career at age of 19, in small nightclubs in New York.
Legendary American comedian and actor, Eddie Murphy offered Rock his debut movie role in ‘Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)’. After that, he became a host of ‘Saturday Night Live (1975)’ for three years.
His career expanded and featured in HBO series, and became a commentator for Comedy Central‘s talk show ‘Politically Incorrect’ during the 1996 US Presidential elections. His popularity and fame peaked because of appearances in a string of successful HBO comedy specials.
He often got significant roles in TV serials and movies, before he became the focus of international opinion with Will Smith‘s slap.
- Born: February 7, 1965 in Andrews, South Carolina, USA
- Raised in: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York.
- Lives in: Alpine, New Jersey.
- Birth Name: Christopher Julius Rock III
- Nickname: Chrissy
- Height: 5′ 10″ (1,78 m)
- Mother: Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped.
- Father: Julius Rock II, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman.
- Grandfather: Allen Rock, a preacher and cabbie.
- Siblings: Andi Rock, Andre Rock, Brian Rock, Charles Rock, Jordan Rock, Kenny Rock, Tony Rock
- Spouse: Malaak Compton (23 November 1996 – 23 August 2016) (divorced) (2 daughters)
- Children: Lola Simone Rock (born 2002); Zahra Savannah Rock (born 2004).
- High-pitched voice
- Jokes about racism and black stereotypes
- Catchphrase: “Yeah, I said it!”
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisrock
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrisrock
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisRock
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisRockVEVO
Childhood and Early Life
Chris Rock was the eldest of all the children born to his parents and had three younger brothers, Jordan, Kenny, and Tony.
All his three brothers followed him to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. His father succumbed to ulcer in 1988.
Chris has admitted that Allen Rock, his paternal grandfather, a parson by profession had a great influence on his comedy style.
Brooklyn’s neighborhoods were dominated by white people, Chris Rock had to put up with scathing racial discrimination because of his black skin color. He remembers going to school in a separate bus that exclusively ferried black students.
He was regularly beaten up and persecuted by white students. Eventually, he stopped attending high school.
Career as a Standup Comedian
After dropping out of school, Chris Rock did odd jobs at several fast-food joints and cafeterias. He started to be a standup comedian in 1984 in the nightclubs and comedy clubs of New York City. For a period, Chris Rock cleaned tables at the comedy club, ‘The Comic Strip Live’.
His initial success and fame helped him to attend movies and TV serials.
Eddie Murphy (a famous comedian, and actor) was impressed by Chris’ performance, Murphy offered him in the 1987 film ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ which was his debut movie role.
In 1990, he was selected to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ (SNL) the hugely popular comedy series that put him equal to Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Chris Farley. In the following year, he released the first comedy record ‘Born Suspect’.
He hosted 59 episodes of ‘Saturday Night Live’ from 1990-93 and earned nationwide fame. In 1993, he scripted and co-produced the comedy film, ‘CB4’.
He first appeared in the HBO comedy specials, ‘Big Ass Jokes’ in 1994 and ‘Bring the Pain’ in 1996. His performance merited him two Emmy awards.
He was chosen as an commentator for the political talk-show, ‘Politically Incorrect’, to review the 1996 US Presidential elections. His voice featured in advertisements for Nike from 1994 to 1998.
Chris Rock starred in two Time Warner’s HBO comedy specials, ‘Bigger & Blacker’ and ‘Never Scared’ in 1994 and 2004 respectively. He produced and hosted 37 episodes of ‘The Chris Rock Show’ from 1997-2000. He picked up 15 nominations and three Emmy Awards for the show.
‘Kill the Messenger’ is his fifth and the last comedy special for which he again won an Emmy, was broadcasted on 27 September 2008.
Career as an Actor
Initially, he fulfilled supporting parts in movies ‘Beverly Hills Ninja’ (1997), ‘Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), ‘Nurse Betty’ (2000), Sgt Bilko (1996) and ‘The Immortals’ (1995).
Chris made his mark on the big screen in the movies, ‘The Longest Yard’ (2005), ‘I Think I Love My Wife’ (2007), ‘Death at a Funeral’ (2010), ‘Grown Ups’ (2010), and ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ (2012).
Rock also be a scriptwriter, director, and voiceover actor.
Career as a Stage Actor
Rock made his Broadway debut in 2011, performing standup acts in the play, ‘The Motherfucker with the Hat’ that bring him a Drama League Award nomination
Career as a Singer
Chris Rock has released four albums: ‘Born Suspect’ (1991), ‘Roll with the New’ (1997), ‘Bigger & Blacker’ (1999), and ‘Never Scared’ (2005). He also had a few music videos about those.
Career as a Television Producer
Chris Rock was an executive producer of the comedy serial, ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ from 2005 to 2009, that described his harrowing school days. The serial received nominations including Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Award, and Golden Globe.
Academy Awards Controversy (the Oscars)
Rock emceed the 77th and 88th Academy Awards ceremonies in 2005 and 2015 respectively.
Comedic style and views
Rock’s subject matter typically involves family, politics, romance, music, celebrities, and race relations in the US.
During a 2008 on his Kill the Messenger tour, Rock labelled George W. Bush as “the worst president ever”.
Chris Rock married Malaak Compton in 1996 and divorced in 2016. The couple have two daughters, Lola and Zahra.
Ex-wife Compton-Rock is the founder and director of StyleWorks, a hair salon that provides free services for women leaving welfare.
Chris Rock admitted to infidelity in the marriage, as well as struggling with a pornography addiction.
In 2016, he began dating Megalyn Echikunwoke, but they split up after four years.
On August 20, 2019, Rock with other celebs, invested in Lowell Herb Co, a California cannabis brand. He is known to be “a dedicated cannabis consumer”.
Chris Rock Movies
- Chris Rock: Never Scared (2004): (Documentary, Comedy)
- Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (1996): (Documentary, Comedy)
- Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker (1999): (Documentary, Comedy)
- Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger – London, New York, Johannesburg (2008): (Documentary, Comedy)
- Dolemite Is My Name (2019): (Biography, Comedy, Drama)
- Dogma (1999): (Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama)
- Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001): (Drama, Sci-Fi, Adventure)
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001): (Comedy)
- Good Hair (2009): (Documentary, Comedy)
- Krush Groove (1985): (Drama, Comedy, Music)
Primetime Emmy Awards
|2009||Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special||Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger – London, New York, Johannesburg (2008)|
|1999||Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program||The Chris Rock Show (1997)|
|1997||Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special||Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (1996)|
|1997||Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program||Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (1996)|
|2006||Best Comedy Album||Winner|
|2004||Best Comedy Album||Winner|
|2000||Best Spoken Comedy Album||Winner|
|1998||Best Spoken Comedy Album||Winner|