Christopher Julius "Chris" Rock III is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, film producer and director. He was voted as the fifth greatest stand-up comedian of all time by Comedy Central.
Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. A few years later, they relocated and settled in the working-class area of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His mother, Rosalie, was a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped; his father, Julius Rock, was a former truck driver and newspaper deliveryman. Julius died in 1988 after ulcer surgery. His younger brothers Tony, Kenny and Jordan are also in the entertainment business. His older half-brother, Charles, died in 2006 due to a long struggle with alcoholism. Rock has said that he was influenced by the performing style of his paternal grandfather, Allen Rock, a preacher.
Rock was bussed to schools in predominately white neighborhoods of Brooklyn where he endured racist bullying and beatings from white students. As he got older, the bullying became worse and Rock's parents pulled him out of James Madison High School. He decided to drop out of high school altogether and later received a GED. Rock worked menial jobs at various fast-food restaurants.
Rock began doing stand-up comedy in 1984 in New York City's Catch a Rising Star. He slowly rose up the ranks of the comedy circuit in addition to earning bit roles in the film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and the TV series Miami Vice. Upon seeing his act at a nightclub, Eddie Murphy befriended and mentored the aspiring comic. Murphy gave Rock his first film role in Beverly Hills Cop II.