Remembering Richard Roundtree. Iconic shaft actor passes at 81

25.10.2023 posted by Admin

Shaft actor Richard Roundtree passes away at the age of 81

American actor Richard Roundtree, famous for his iconic roles in the Shaft film series, has passed away at the age of 81.

Richard Roundtree's manager, Patrick McMinn, revealed that the actor was in the company of his family at his Los Angeles residence when he peacefully departed on a Tuesday afternoon. He had been battling pancreatic cancer in recent times.

Patrick McMinn emphasized the profound influence that Richard's work and career had on the representation of African American leading men in the world of cinema, describing it as a pivotal moment in the industry's history.

In 1993, Roundtree faced a breast cancer diagnosis, leading to a double mastectomy. He courageously highlighted the importance of men addressing their health, stating that breast cancer is not limited to any specific gender.

Throughout his life, Roundtree was married twice and is survived by four daughters and a son.

Richard Roundtree was born on July 9, 1942, in New Rochelle, New York. In the 1940 census, his parents, John Roundtree and Kathryn Roundtree, were listed as a butler and a cook in the same household, as reported by The New York Times. He attended New Rochelle High School and was an active member of its football team.

The year 1971 saw the release of "Shaft," a film that propelled Roundtree to stardom at the age of 29.

Following his iconic role in "Shaft," Roundtree took on a wide array of characters in various films. In the disaster film "Earthquake" (1974), he joined a star-studded cast featuring Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner. Roundtree also assumed the title role in "Man Friday" (1975), portraying a lively and generous companion to Peter O'Toole's 17th-century explorer Robinson Crusoe.

In "Inchon" (1981), Richard Roundtree played an Army officer on General Douglas MacArthur's staff, alongside Laurence Olivier. He shared the screen with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds in "City Heat" (1984) and faced off against a massive flying lizard in "Q" (1982).

In an interview, Roundtree once recounted a conversation with his father, who told him to appreciate his iconic role, reminding him that many people leave this world without being known for anything.

The Artists & Representatives Agency expressed their condolences and acknowledged Richard Roundtree's groundbreaking career that reshaped the entertainment industry on a global scale. His enduring legacy will continue to influence generations to come.

Samuel L. Jackson, who took over the Shaft film franchise in 2000, paid tribute to the actor on his social media, recognizing Roundtree as the prototype and the originator of Shaft. Jackson's heartfelt message remembered Roundtree with deep affection, acknowledging his lasting impact on the industry and the world.
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