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Robin Harris


Born:  August 30, 1953

Birthplace:    Chicago, IL

Died:     March 18, 1990

Zodiac Sign:  Virgo




Robin Hughes Harris was an American comedian and actor, known for his recurring comic sketch about "Bébé's Kids". He was posthumously nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance in film House Party.

During the mid-1980s, Harris worked as the master of ceremonies at the Comedy Act Theater. His "old school" brand of humor began to gain him a mainstream following. Harris made his acting debut playing a bartender in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988). Harris also had roles in 1989's Do the Right Thing and Harlem Nights. Harris played the father of Kid in House Party (1990). He followed up later that year with a small role as a jazz club MC in Mo' Better Blues.

In Harris' "Bébé's Kids" routines, Harris' girlfriend Jamika would insist that he take her son and her friend Bébé's three children with them on a date, as she continually agreed to babysit them. The children would regularly make a fool out of and/or annoy Harris. "We Bébé's kids", they would proclaim, "we don't die...we multiply."


The Hudlin Brothers had intended to make a feature film based upon the "Bébé's Kids" sketches, but Harris died while the film was in pre-production. Bébé's Kids instead became an animated feature. It was directed by Bruce W. Smith and featured the voices of Faizon Love (as Harris), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter, Jonell Green, Rich Little, and Tone Lōc.


In the early hours of March 18, 1990, Harris died in his sleep of a heart attack in the hotel room of his hometown Chicago's Four Season Hotel after performing for a sold out crowd at the Regal Theater, at the age of 36. His brother found him dead. Harris was transported back to California and interred in an indoor mausoleum at Inglewood Park Cemetery, near Los Angeles. 

As a result of Harris’ untimely demise, his House Party character Pop succumbs to an undisclosed ailment but is referenced in the first two sequels. Kid is shown to be healing from Pop's death in House Party 2 and it is mentioned that he made Kid promise to finish school before his passing. Through archive footage, a photo of Pop comes to life and tells Kid "Keep your mind on them books and off them 'gals!", a clip taken from a scene in the original House Party. The film's setting, the fictional Harris University, is another tribute to the actor. In House Party 3 when Pop's brother and Kid's uncle, Vester (played by Bernie Mac) looks at a photograph of him, he tells Kid how he misses his father and wishes he were still alive, and that he "owes him $150".

At the time of Harris's March 1990 death, his wife was pregnant with their son, Robin Harris, Jr., who was born six months later, in September 1990.

In 2006, a posthumous DVD, titled We Don't Die, We Multiply: The Robin Harris Story (2006), was released. The film features never-before seen performances by Harris and accolades from such contemporaries as Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Robert Townsend, and Joe Torry. The film features a rap performed and dedicated to Harris by his son, Robin, Jr.


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