Little Richard (film)

Little Richard is a 2000 biographical NBC television film written by Bill Kerby and Daniel Taplitz and directed by Robert Townsend. Based on the 1984 book, Quasar of Rock: The Life and Times of Little Richard, it chronicles the rise of American musical icon Little Richard from his poor upbringing in Macon, Georgia to achieving superstardom as one of the pioneers of rock and roll music and his conflicts between his religion and secular lifestyle, which leads to an early retirement following a 1957 tour of Australia, and later a comeback to secular performing during a concert in London in 1962.

Little Richard
GenreBiography, drama
Written byBill Kerby
Daniel Taplitz
Directed byRobert Townsend
Jenifer Lewis
Carl Lumbly
Tamala Jones
Mel Jackson
Garrett Morris
Theme music composerVelton Ray Bunch
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducerIain Peterson
EditorsSabrina Plisco
Marcelo Sansevieri
Running time120 minutes
Original networkNBC
Original releaseFebruary 20, 2000 (2000-02-20)

The cast includes Leon as Little Richard Penniman,[1] Jenifer Lewis as Richard's mother Leva Mae, or as she's listed in the movie credits, Muh Penniman, Carl Lumbly as Richard's stern father, Charles "Bud" Penniman, Tamala Jones as Richard's girlfriend Lucille[2] (actually Audrey Robinson),[citation needed] Garrett Morris as Richard's preacher Carl Rainey and Mel Jackson as producer Robert "Bumps" Blackwell.[2]

For his role as Penniman, Leon earned nominations for Best Actor in the Black Reel Awards and the NAACP Image Awards.

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • Black Reel Awards
    • Nominated (Network/Cable - Best Actor) - Leon
  • NAACP Image Awards
    • Nominated (Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special) - Leon
  • Emmy Awards
    • Nominated (Outstanding Music Direction) - David Sibley


  1. ^ Otfinoski, Steven (2010). African Americans in the Performing Arts. Infobase Publishing. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-4381-2855-9.
  2. ^ a b "Little Richard (2000)". BFI. Retrieved 13 April 2022.

External linksEdit