'Shaft' Star Richard Roundtree Dead at 81
Richard Roundtree, famous for playing the lead role in “Shaft,” is dead after a battle with cancer.
The actor died Monday as a result of pancreatic cancer, according to his manager Patrick McMinn. We’re told Richard was diagnosed two months ago, and his family was with him when he died at his home in Los Angeles.
Richard is best known for playing detective John Shaft in the original ‘Shaft’ movie franchise … including the 1971 OG film, “Shaft,” the 1972 sequel “Shaft’s Big Score!” and the 1973 trilogy, “Shaft In Africa.”
RR was regarded as the first Black action hero in Hollywood … and his breakthrough performance in “Shaft” saw him nominated for New Star of the Year at the Golden Globe Awards.
The face of the ‘Shaft’ franchise, Richard also starred in the 1973 ‘Shaft’ TV series.
When ‘Shaft’ got a remake in 2000, Richard reprised his role as John Shaft alongside Samuel L Jackson, who plays Shaft’s nephew. He also plays the character in the 2019 version.
Richard also had a role in the famous “Roots” miniseries … playing the role of Sam Bennett.
More recently, Richard played Gabrielle Union‘s father in the drama series “Being Mary Jane.”
Gabrielle says working with Richard “was a dream” … and she’s remembering him as “the coolest man in the room with the BEST vibes.” She says folks “would literally come over to see him.”
The last time we talked to Richard was in 2018 when he told us about filming ‘Shaft’ reboots with Samuel L.
Richard was 81.
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