Kyle Kaplan/Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection
richard roundtreeWho impressed everyone with his signature role in shaft The movie franchise passed away this afternoon, October 24, with his family at his bedside after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old.
Roundtree’s career spanned five decades and included everything from her most popular blaxploitation roles to her very early appearances. as the world Turns Up to eight episodes in 1956 cherish the Day Last year.
He is best known for playing Detective John Shaft in the 1971 action thriller and its sequel. SHAFT’S BIG SCORE! (1972) and Squad in Africa (1973) as well as the short-lived 1973 shaft TV series.
For his performance in the original film, Roundtree was nominated for a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year and honored as the first black action hero.
Decades later, Roundtree reprized his role in the 2000 John Singleton film shaft A 2019 Tim Story-directed sequel starring Samuel L. Jackson.
Roundtree’s many film credits include 1981 inchonin which he appeared with Laurence Olivier and Ben Gazzara, 1984 city heat Also opposite Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds Se7en, George of the Woods, Body of Influence, Amityville: A New Generation And What do men want? He was last seen in last year’s Paul Weitz comedy moving on.
On television, Roundtree played the slave Sam Bennett in the acclaimed 1977 miniseries roots, She had leading roles in series such as Generations, 413 Hope St., Alias, Diary of a Single Mother, Friends, Desperate Housewives, Soul Food, Being Mary Jane, And family reunion, He recently starred in Season 2 of Ava DuVernay’s OWN series cherish the Day Last year.
Roundtree’s death was confirmed to Deadline by his agency, Artists & Representatives, and his longtime manager Patrick McMinn.
“The artist and representation agency mourn the passing of our friend and client Richard Roundtree,” the agency said in a statement. “His pioneering career changed the face of entertainment around the world and his lasting legacy will be felt for generations to come. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this difficult time.”