Dolemite actor and groundbreaking comedian Rudy Ray Moore passed away on Sunday at the age of 71.

I bought Dolemite on DVD shortly after getting my first DVD player at the urging of my friend Justin, who used to work with me at our town’s little mom-and-pop video store. He’d seen it at college and couldn’t wait to share it. I think I later got its sequel, The Human Tornado, as a gift.

These movies were made for nothing and it showed; microphones were seen as often as the “F” word was heard.

But there was much charm to be had from that simplicity, and Mr. Moore’s confidence was never anything less than entirely larger than life.

And many, many, many of today’s comedians and actors owe him much and probably don’t even know it.

Thank you for giving us so much of yourself, Rudy Ray.