Sam Burl Kinison (1953 - 1992)

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Sam Burl Kinison
1953 - 1992
December 8, 1953
Yakima, Yakima County, Washington United States
April 10, 1992
Needles, San Bernardino County, California United States 92363
Sam Burl Kinison was born on December 8, 1953 in Yakima, Washington. According to his family tree, he married Terry Jean Marze in 1981 and they later divorced in 1989. He died on April 10, 1992 in Needles, California at age 38.
Updated: November 18, 2020
Sam was a stand-up comedian and actor - he has a fascinating history having started as a Pentecostal preacher and ended up a comedian. He was born to Samuel Earl Kinison and Marie Florence (Morrow) Kinison and had brothers Richard, Bill and Kevin. He was married to Patricia Adkins and Terry Jean Marze before he married Malika Souiri at the Candlelight Chapel in Las Vegas which lasted only a week.

During his time with Malika he cleaned up his life and stopped abusing alcohol and drugs. Ironically, he was killed by a drunk driver in a car accident on U.S. Route 95 while on his way to a show in Laughlin Nevada. Malika was with him and badly injured, but she survived. Kinison's brother reported that he was found alive after the crash and said: "I don't want to die. I don't want to die" then paused as if listening to someone. After a moment he asked "But why?" and after another pause said "Okay, Okay, Okay." and he died shortly after. His brother said "Whatever voice was talking to him gave him the right answer and he just relaxed with it."

A copy of Sam's obituary which appeared in The Noblesville Ledger is below.
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Sam Burl Kinison
Most commonly known as
Sam Burl Kinison
Full name
Other names or aliases
Sam Kinison was born on in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington United States
Sam Kinison died on in Needles, San Bernardino County, California United States 92363
Sam Kinison was born on in Yakima, Yakima County, Washington United States
Sam Kinison died on in Needles, San Bernardino County, California United States 92363
drunk driver ran into his car on U.S. Route 95
Cause of death
Memorial Park Cemetery 5111 S Memorial Dr, in Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma United States 74145
Burial / Funeral

Nationality & Locations

Born in Yakima Washington, he moved with his family at a few months old to East Peoria Illinois. He spent time in New York then began his career in Houston Texas.


He followed his father's footsteps by beginning as a Pentecostal preacher but eventually found his calling as a stand-up comedian.

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Savage Dawn (1985)
Back to School (1986)
Three Amigos (1986) (scenes deleted)
Pauly Shore Is Dead (2004) (archive footage)
I Am Sam Kinison (2017) (Documentary)

Rodney Dangerfield Hosts the 9th Annual Young Comedians Special (1985)
Saturday Night Live (1985–1986, guest performer; 1986, host)
Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me (1986)
Rodney Dangerfield: Opening Night at Rodney's Place (1989, guest star)
Married... with Children (1989, guest star)
Tales from the Crypt (1990, guest star)
Charlie Hoover (1991, as Hugh)
In Living Color (Season 3, Episode 7, closing skit, Sunday, Nov. 3, 1991)
Fox New Year's Eve Live: 1992 (1991–1992, co-host)
Daniel Pinna shared this memory
on Nov 18, 2020 4:33 AM

Sam's Family Tree

Sam Burl Kinison


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Terry Jean Marze


Sam Burl Kinison

Married: 1981 - 1989
Cause of Separation: Divorce
Sam Burl Kinison


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The following appeared in The Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana) on Saturday April 11th 1992:

Comedian Sam Kinison dies

NEEDLES, Calif. (AP) - Sam Kinison, a former street preacher who screeched his way to fame with a stand-up shock-comedy routine, was killed in a car crash on a desert highway, his publicist said. He was 38.

Kinison was killed instantly Friday night when his sports car was hit head-on by a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 95 outside Needles, about 250 miles east of Los Angeles, said his publicist, Florence Troutman. His wife, Malika, was in serious condition at Needles Desert Community Hospital, Ms. Troutman said from Las Vegas. A man who answered the phone at the hospital refused to comment.

The couple had been married for less than a week, and had just returned from their honeymoon in Hawaii, Ms. Troutman said. They were heading for Laughlin, Nev., where Kinison was to perform Friday night, she said.

A California Highway Patrol dispatcher confirmed that the accident occurred, but said she had no details. The rotund Kinison, the self-proclaimed rock 'n' roll comedian, created a foul-mouthed character who screamed his way through such topics as Christ's last words, starvation in Ethiopia and women, marriage and sex.

"What happened is, the longer I stayed in L.A., the more bitter I got, and I cut to the truth," he said last year.

"The best part of Sam Kinison was his heart," Ms. Troutman said. "He was a beautiful man. He had a big heart. He took care of his people with all his heart." Kinison was born in Peorta, Ill. into a family of Pentacostal preachers. He was enrolled for a year at the Pinecrest Bible Training Center in upstate New York. When his father died in 1980, Kinison became a traveling evangelist, an occupation he likened to working comedy clubs.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Sam's lifetime.

In 1953, in the year that Sam Burl Kinison was born, on January 20th, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th President of the United States. Formerly the 1st Supreme Allied Commander Europe in World War II, Eisenhower had never previously held a political office.

In 1962, when he was only 9 years old, on October 1st, African-American James H. Meredith, escorted by federal marshals, registered at the University of Mississippi - becoming the first African-American student admitted to the segregated college. He had been inspired by President Kennedy's inaugural address to apply for admission.

In 1972, at the age of 19 years old, Sam was alive when on November 7th, Richard Nixon won re-election, amidst the dawning knowledge of the Watergate scandal, by 60.7% to anti-war candidate George McGovern's 37.5%.

In 1983, by the time he was 30 years old, physicist Sally K. Ride, 32, became the first US woman astronaut in space as a crew member aboard space shuttle Challenger on June 18th. She was also the youngest (32) astronaut to go into space. Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space in 1963.

In 1992, in the year of Sam Burl Kinison's passing, on February 1st, US President George Bush and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia jointly announced an end to the Cold War, proclaiming a new era of "friendship and partnership". At Camp David in Maryland, they reviewed ways to jointly reduce nuclear arms and support reforms in Russia but no agreement was reached at that meeting.

Created on Jun 04, 2020 by Daniel Pinna
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