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Comedian and actor Paul Mooney dead at 79

Mooney was a regular on "Chapelle's Show" and played singer Sam Cooke in "The Buddy Holly Story."

WASHINGTON — Actor and comedian Paul Mooney has died at the age of 79, according to multiple media reports. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mooney's representative confirmed the "Chapelle's Show" regular died early Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California. 

Mooney, who portrayed singer Sam Cooke in the Oscar-winning flick "The Buddy Holly Story," reportedly suffered a heart attack, his publicist told The Daily News

As news of Mooney's death spread, his official Twitter account sent out a thank you to everyone sharing their love for the pioneering comic. 

"Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts ...you’re all are the best!...... Mooney World .. The Godfather of Comedy - ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks," the account tweeted. 

Comedian W. Kamau Bell tweeted he was lucky enough to open for Mooney and described the experience as a "master class." 

"It was like a Malcolm X speech that had been punched up by Redd Foxx. & then in the middle of everything he’d go off on a tangent about Jane Fonda. He was 1 of the greats. Rest in Peace, Mr. Mooney," Bell tweeted.