Christopher Julius “Chris” Rock is a stand-up comedian and actor. Rock, the eldest of seven children, was born on February 7, 1965, in Andrews, South Carolina, to Rosalie and Julius Rock. When he was a child, his family relocated to New York City, New York. Growing up, Rock encountered prejudice and bullying among white classmates in Brooklyn, New York, where he was involved in racially integrating busing to school in white neighborhoods.
Bullying became worse for Rock at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York, until his parents yanked him out. Rock went on to receive his General Educational Development (GED) diploma. Rock’s father died in 1988 as a result of ulcer surgery.
Chris Rock’s stand-up comedy career began in 1984, when he was 19 years old and performed at the New York City comic club Catch a Rising Sun. Eddie Murphy, a comedian and actor, watched his act and befriended him during one of his appearances. Murphy mentored Rock and gave him his first film role in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987). Rock featured in the comedic picture I’m Gonna Get You Sucka the following year.
Rock joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1990 and remained there until 1993. During this time, Rock appeared in films such as New Jack City (1991), Boomerang (1992), CB4 (1993), Panther (1995), Pootie Tang (2001), I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and Death at a Funeral (2008). (2010). Rock has also developed television shows, such as “The Chris Rock Show,” which aired on HBO from 1997 to 2000. Based on his adolescent experiences, Rock produced the TV sitcom “Everyone Hates Chris” in 2005. The show was a hit, earning Rock three Emmy nods. It lasted till 2009, when it was canceled.
During his career, Rock also released comedy albums, including Born Suspect (1991), Roll with the New (1997), Bigger and Blacker (1999), Never Scared (2004), and Tamborine (2018). His stand-up comedy specials included Chris Rock: Big Ass Jokes (1994), Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (1996), Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker (1999), Chris Rock: Never Scared(2004), Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger (2008), and Chris Rock: Tamborine (2018). Rock won three Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album in 1998, 2000, and 2006.
Rock reported on September 19, 2021, that he tested positive for Covid-19 but afterwards recovered. Rock’s most controversial move occurred on March 27, 2022, at the 94th Academy Awards, when the 57-year-old emcee laughed about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which was caused by a hair disorder known as Alopecia areata.
Will Smith stepped on stage and slapped Chris Rock in response to the joke. This assault, watched by millions across the world, resulted in Smith being barred from performing at future Academy Awards shows for ten years.
Rock’s career will continue till 2022. In 1996, Rock was married to Malaak Compton Rock. After 20 years of marriage, the couple had two kids before divorcing in 2016.