March 4, 2024

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An iconic Hollywood star has sadly died. Richard Roundtree, known for bringing leather coat-clad detective John Shaft to life, has died. The news was confirmed via his manager Patric McMinn who told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor, 81, passed away Wednesday at his Los Angeles home from pancreatic cancer. Roundtree first played John Shaft […]

An iconic Hollywood star has sadly died. Richard Roundtree, known for bringing leather coat-clad detective John Shaft to life, has died.

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty

The news was confirmed via his manager Patric McMinn who told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor, 81, passed away Wednesday at his Los Angeles home from pancreatic cancer.

Roundtree first played John Shaft in the 1971 blaxploitation action thriller before starring in Shaft’s Big Score! in 1972 Shaft in Africa in 1973, and a subsequent Shaft TV series.

"Shaft" New York Premiere

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty

He also appeared in the 2000 and 2019 film reboots alongside the likes of  Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Hall, and Jessie T. Usher.

“Well honestly, it’s much like riding a bike,” he told Here & Now’s Robin Young about reprising the role. I mean, it’s a comfortable pair of shoes.”
“This thing is off the chain,” he also said of the film.

Richard Roundtree is being memorialized on social media by Hollywood stars including Gabrielle Union who played his daughter in BET’s 2014 drama series Being Mary Jane.

“Working with Richard Roundtree was a dream,” wrote Union. “Getting to hang with him & our Being Mary Jane family was always a good a** time with the best stories & laughs. He was ALWAYS the coolest man in the room with the BEST vibes & ppl would literally run over to come see him. He was simply the best & we all loved him. #RIPRichardRoundtree”

Roundtree film credits also include Inchon, City Heat, George of the Jungle, Body of Influence, and What Men Want. n.

On television, Roundtree also played slave Sam Bennett in the iconic 1977 miniseries Roots.

R.I.P. Richard Roundtree.

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