Marc Wilmore, a Television Comedy Writer and Producer, Dies at 57

This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.

Marc Wilmore, a television writer and producer known for his work on “In Living Color,” “F Is for Family” and “The Simpsons,” died on Saturday from complications related to Covid-19. He was 57.

Mr. Wilmore died at Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona, Calif., a little more than a week after he was found to have Covid-19, said his brother, the comedian and television host Larry Wilmore.

He had long had health issues related to a kidney transplant in the 1990s, and Mr. Wilmore said that by the time his brother got Covid, “he was pretty weak from complications because of that.”

Announcing his brother’s death on Twitter, Mr. Wilmore called him “the kindest, gentlest, funniest, lion of an angel I’ve ever known.”

Marc Wilmore was born May 4, 1963, in Fontana, Calif., to Larry Wilmore, who worked as a probation officer for years before going back to school and becoming a doctor, and Betty Wilmore, an executive assistant.

He started his career in entertainment as a stand-up comedian and got his first break as a writer for “In Living Color” in 1990, according to a statement from his brother. In Season 5, Marc Wilmore also joined the show’s cast. Some of his most memorable impressions were of Maya Angelou; the actress Isabel Sanford’s character on “All in the Family,” Weezy Jefferson; and Bob Hope as a Black man.

He went on to write for “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” before landing at “The PJs,” an animated show co-created by his brother Larry and Eddie Murphy. He was also a voice actor on the show.

While working on “The PJs,” Mr. Wilmore played a now well-known prank on a producer for “The Simpsons.” After “The Simpsons” did an episode poking fun at East St. Louis, one of its producers, Matt Selman, called the place a “crack-ridden slum” in an interview with a reporter, Mr. Selman later told the Cut. Some other “Simpsons” staffers decided to teach him a lesson, enlisting Mr. Wilmore to drop by the show’s writers room and impersonate a very irate mayor of East St. Louis.

“My only reaction afterwards was just pure relief that I wasn’t really going to be beaten up by a mayor,” Mr. Selman said.

Larry Wilmore said his brother was known for these sorts of pranks.

“He would leave messages on my machine being different people,” he said. “He used to leave a message sometimes as Louis Farrakhan wondering why I wasn’t at the rally, the race rally.”

The elaborate prank on Mr. Selman led “The Simpsons” to hire Marc Wilmore in 2000. He worked on the program as a producer and writer for more than a decade. His most recent project was as a writer for the Netflix show “F is for Family,” which was created by Bill Burr and Michael Price.

Writers and producers who worked with Mr. Wilmore paid tribute to him on Twitter, with several calling him the funniest guy in the room. Mike Reiss, a writer and producer for “The Simpsons,” said Mr. Wilmore was “Great on the page, hilarious in the room, and one of the warmest guys I ever had the joy to work with.”

In addition to his brother, Mr. Wilmore is survived by his wife of more than 27 years, Soumaya Wilmore; their two children, Anika and Brendi Wilmore; his parents; and four other siblings, Juanita Henderson, Debbie Flagg, Brenda Wilmore and David Wilmore.

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