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Chris Rock: Biography of the host

The outspoken comedian will star in the mainstream Oscar role

Associated Press and Globe and Mail Update

"It's my real name. My mother's name is Rose Rock. It was the worst name as a kid to have. They called me Piece of the Rock, Plymouth Rock, Joe Rockid, and Flintstones. Now they call me MISTER Rock," says Chris Rock.

The oldest of seven children, the comedian was born in South Carolina and was raised in Brooklyn, New York, where he still lives.

Rock will be hosting this year's Oscars show and recently spoke to the media.

He mimicked the typical question he gets these days: "Oh, a black comic, how are you going to make it whiter? I'm like, 'Dude, look around, can you make it any whiter?'"

Working a live audience is Rock's forte, a good thing wince the Oscars are broadcast in real time around the world. ABC has not yet decided whether there will be a delay on the broadcast to time around the world. ABC has not yet decided whether there will be a delay to broadcast to protect against stray profanities, as there was in last year's post-Janet Jackson crackdown.

An Emmy-winning writer himself for his cable specials, Rock hired his own writing staff, and expects contributions from famous pals David Spade, Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy.

While he was performing in New York as a standup comedian, Rock was discovered by Eddie Murphy, who casted him in Beverly Hills Cop II. This was Rock's feature film debut. Rock then stayed with Saturday Night Live for almost three years.

Rock has several accolades, including a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame which he received on March 12, 2003. He's also won three Emmys and two Grammys. Comedy Central chose him as number five in the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time in April 2004.

Some of his films include Boomerang, Panther, New Jack City, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!, Lethal Weapon 4 and Dr. Dolittle.

His directorial debut was in Head of State, which he also produced and co-wrote.

Rock has also been successful in television with In Living Color, Saturday Night Live, The Chris Rock Show, Bring the Pain and Chris Rock: Big Ass Jokes.

"The magic formula for Chris Rock has been a mix of street logic, honesty, anger and charm," says Rolling Stone Magazine.

With a file from Associated Press

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