An actor and comedian who landed his first movie roles in the mid-1990s and went on to find steady work both on television and in features has died. The Los Angeles Times reports that Ricky Harris died Monday at 54.
His cause of death was not known, but Harris had reportedly suffered a heart attack two years ago.
Harris hosted episodes of “Def Comedy Jam” in 1995 and played Malvo on “Everybody Hates Chris” from 2006-2008. He was J.W. on Moesha from 1996-1998.
He had a number of guest appearances on TV series, often in small roles. He appeared over the years on “CSI,” “The Tracy Morgan Show,” “NYPD Blue,” “ER” and many other shows. Most recently he had a small part on “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”
On the big screen, Harris got his start in 1993 in “Poetic Justice” and later turned up in “Heat.”
“Harris, the son of a preacher, was raised in Long Beach,” The Times notes. “He made a name for himself as a performer on HBO’s ‘Def Comedy Jam’ in the 1990s with a pop culture-inflected routine that touched on subjects such as horror movie sound effects and movie sex.”
Here’s a clip of Harris at work on “Def Comedy Jam” — the clip contains plenty of salty language …