Christopher Julius Rock is an American actor, producer, writer, director, and stand-up comedian best known for being a cast member of SNL (Saturday Night Live) in the early 1990s.
Christopher Julius Rock was born on February 7, 1965, in Andrews, South Carolina, USA. Soon after he was born, his parents moved to Brooklyn, New York, after which, a few years later, they finally settled in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Rosalie, his mother, was a social worker and a teacher for the mentally disabled. Julius Rock, his father, was a newspaper delivery man and a truck driver. Chris Rock is the oldest of their seven children.
In 1996, Chris Rock married a philanthropist Malaak Compton, with whom he has two daughters. Chris and Malaak split in 2016, which left Chris unwilling ever to get married again.
After the divorce, which ended in a nasty battle at the court, Chris jokingly stated: “I had to pay for a lawyer to divorce me. That’s like hiring a hitman to kill you.”
In 2016, he fell in love again and dated the actress, Echikunwoke. Sadly, they already split in 2019. In the same year, he started dating a fellow singer and actor, Carmen Ejogo, who had also been previously married to the actor Jeffrey Wright, with two children, as well.
Chris Rock started doing stand-up comedy in New York in 1984. Eddie Murphy soon befriended him after seeing Rock’s act in a local nightclub and gave Rock his first role in the movie Beverly Hills Cop II.
From 1990 to 1993, Rock was a cast member of a popular sketch comedy series SNL (Saturday Night Live). In 1991, his first comedy album was released, called Born Suspect, and Rock got acclaim for his role in the movie New Jack City, starring as a crack addict. SNL credited Rock with national exposure.
In 1999 Rock appeared in two comedy specials on HBO: Bigger & Blacker and Never Scared. Articles in Time described Rock regarding these two specials as “the funniest man in America.” The Chris Rock Show was also aired on HBO and won an Emmy for writing.
His overall work on television granted him 15 nominations and no less than three Emmy Awards. As a stand-up comedian, Rock became one of the most prominently established by the end of 2000.
Rock made numerous appearances on television shows and films, both on small and big screens.
- Saturday Night Live (1990-1993);
- In Living Color (1993-1994);
- The Chris Rock Show (1997-200);
- Born Suspect (1991);
- Roll with the New (1997);
- Bigger & Blacker (1999);
- Beverly Hills Cop II (1987);
- Lethal Weapon 4 (1998);
- Dogma (1999);
- Nurse Betty (2000);
- Down to Earth (2001);
- Pootie Tang (2001);
- Head of State (2003);
- Death at a Funeral (2010);
- Grown Ups (2010);
- Dolemite Is My Name (2019);
Chris released a total of five comedy albums and six stand-up specials.
- Born Suspect (Atlantic Records, 1991);
- Roll with the New (DreamWorks Records, 1997);
- Bigger & Blacker (DreamWorks Records, 1999);
- Never Scared (DreamWorks Records and Geffen Records, 2004);
- Tambourine (Netflix Studios, LLC., 2018);
- Chris Rock: Big Ass Jokes (HBO, 1994);
- Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (HBO, 1996);
- Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker (HBO, 1999);
- Chris Rock: Never Scared (HBO, 2004);
- Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger (HBO, 2008);
- Chris Rock: Tambourine (Netflix 2018);
Awards and Nominations
Chris won three Grammy Awards for best comedy album (Roll with the New, Bigger & Blacker, and Never Scared) and four Primetime Emmy Awards. For the TV show “Everybody Hates Chris” he won the British Comedy Awards for the best international comedy TV show.
For Lethal Weapon 4, he won the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards in 1999.
In The News
In a recent interview at CBS Sunday Morning, Chris Rock talked openly about his undergoing therapy. The coronavirus pandemic has led Chris to seek treatment, and Rock is now visiting two therapists for seven hours a week.
Rock stated in this interview: “I learned that I could be very hard on myself. Like really, really hard on myself, and I need to relax. And I need to listen; I need to take chances.” He added that learning how to swim has helped him during the pandemic.
He also added that in therapy, “you have to tell the truth and be prepared to talk about the worst part of yourself every week, “ which he is doing.