Richard Roundtree, the actor most famous for his iconic character of detective John Shaft in several “Shaft” blaxploitation films of the 1970s, has passed away after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

The New York-born actor made his big screen debut in the lead role of the 1971 original along with its two sequels and a short-lived TV series. He became a character dubbed the first Black action hero.

Roundtree would reprise the role both in the John Singleton-directed 2000 movie starring Samuel L. Jackson as his nephew, and the 2019 Tim Story-directed sequel with Jessie T. Usher playing the son of Jackson’s character.

Roundtree’s other film credits also include David Fincher’s “Se7en,” Rian Looper’s “Brick,” and the Wachowski’s “Speed Racer,” as well as “George of the Jungle,” “Corky Romano,” “Antitrust,” “Steel,” “Boat Trip,” “What Men Want,” “Inchon,” “City Heat,” “Moving On,” “The Big Score,” “Body of Influence,” “Amityville: A New Generation” and more.

On television, he had a memorable role as slave Sam Bennett in 1977 television mini-series “Roots”. He scored acclaim for his work on “413 Hope St.” and had recurring roles on a number of series including “Alias,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Heroes,” “Diary of a Single Mom,” “Generations,” “Soul Food,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Chicago Fire,” “The Player” and more.

He was married twice and had five children. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.

Source: The Washington Times

The post R.I.P. “Shaft” Star Richard Roundtree appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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