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CHRIS ROCK (Mays Gilliam/Director/Producer/Co-Screenwriter), widely recognized as one of America's most influential comedians, is also one of its most honored, having been recognized with numerous awards, including three Emmys, two Grammys, and an American Comedy Award.

In 2001, Rock appeared in two feature films, first starring in the romantic comedy "Down to Earth," which he also co-wrote. Directed by Paul and Chris Weitz, the film is an updated remake of "Heaven Can Wait" with an urban twist. Later in the year, he produced and starred in the comedy "Pootie Tang."

Rock previously joined the ensemble cast of Neil LaBute's critically acclaimed dark comedy "Nurse Betty," which won the Palm D'Or for Best Screenplay at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. The film teamed Rock with Morgan Freeman as a pair of hitmen who are trying to track down and kill the title character, who witnessed their latest hit. Rock's other feature film credits include Kevin Smith's "Dogma"; the hit sequel "Lethal Weapon 4"; 2002's "Bad Company," with Anthony Hopkins; "New Jack City," as a desperate crack addict, which marked his first dramatic role; "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!," with Keenen Ivory Wayans; and "Beverly Hills Cop II," in which he made his feature film debut. He also lent his voice to the hit comedy "Dr. Dolittle," and Steven Spielberg's futuristic fantasy "A.I."

Rock grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. After honing his comedic skills on the comedy club circuit, he realized a long-held dream when he joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1989. In 1994, Rock emerged as a comedy star in his own right with the award-winning HBO special "Chris Rock: Big Ass Jokes." In 1996, he scored even greater success with another HBO special, "Bring the Pain," which brought Rock two 1997 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special and Outstanding Writing. That same year, Rock also picked up an Emmy nomination for his writing on the then-cable show "Politically Incorrect."

"Bring the Pain" had a successful life beyond its airing on HBO. DreamWorks Records released a home video and DVD of the special, as well as a Grammy Award-winning CD, which also contains musical bits and comedy sketches.

In the wake of his two highly rated, award-winning specials, Rock expanded his presence on HBO to the series "The Chris Rock Show," which brought Rock a shared Emmy for Outstanding Writing. In addition, he received three more shared Emmy nominations for writing, two nominations for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series, and two individual nominations for his work as the series host.

Rock's most recent HBO special, "Bigger & Blacker," accorded the comedian a more personal triumph, as the one-hour stand-up comedy show was taped on the stage of Harlem's legendary Apollo Theatre. It also spawned a hit CD, produced by Rock and rap impresario Prince Paul, which won a 2000 Grammy Award for Best Spoken or Comedy Album. In addition, his first book, Rock This (Hyperion, 1997), spent time on both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.


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