Taylor Negron, an actor and comedian well known for his role in the popular ‘80s series, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” died on Saturday at the age of 57.
Negron, who played the pizza delivery guy in Fast Times battled liver cancer for the past seven years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The beloved comedian was born in Glendale, California, on August 1, 1957 to parents of Puerto Rican descent. His Puerto Rico-born grandmother, whom he once described as a movie-loving free spirit, greatly influenced his passion for performing.
By the time he was 19, Negron had dropped out of the San Francisco Art Institute in order to pursue stand-up comedy. Born Brad Stephen Negron, the comedian adopted the first name Taylor after the street he lived on in San Francisco.
Negron had an extensive body of work
Negron broke into the entertainment industry with small roles in films and TV shows like “Easy Money,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and “Young Doctors in Love.” He continued to score these small yet memorable roles until 1982 when he snagged the part of the pizza delivery guy in “Fast Times.”
“I’m not famous,” Negron said in 2013. “I’m fame-ish.”
Negron’s impressive body of work includes films like “Punchline” (1988), “Angels in the Outfield” (1994), and “Stuart Little” (1999). He has also made appearances on popular TV shows such as “Friends,” “Reno 911,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “ER.”
In addition to his talent as a comedian and performer, Negron was also a skilled artist. According to Deadline Hollywood, Negron was on the board of LACMA and had several exhibitions of his own works over the years. Early on in his career, Negron would even sketch movie set extras for some extra pocket money.
Taylor Negron’s influence on comedy
Negron was a major force on the LA comedy scene. He performed stand-up at Comedy Central Stage’s Sit-n-Spin, at the Un-Cabaret, and at The Moth. He also penned numerous comedy essays that appeared in “Love West Hollywood: Reflections of Los Angeles” and the anthology “Dirty Laundry.”
Comics and performers were quick to pay their tribute to Negron after the news of his death.
Billy Crystal tweeted, “So sad to hear of the loss of Taylor Negron. Brilliantly funny comedian actor and wonderful painter. #RestInPeace.”
Ben Stiller tweeted, “Taylor Negron was a very smart, funny caring individual with a unique comedic voice. #RESPECT.”
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Other performers that took to Twitter to remember Taylor Negron include Dane Cook, John Mulaney, Penn Jillette, Paul Provenza, and Marc Maron.
In an attempt to explain how he had achieved so much success in his career, Negron once wrote, “I made my shortcomings work for me. So should you!”
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