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Richard Roundtree, ‘Shaft’ Star, Dead at 81

Video Credit: Wibbitz Top Stories - Duration: 01:30s - Published
Richard Roundtree, ‘Shaft’ Star, Dead at 81

Richard Roundtree, ‘Shaft’ Star, Dead at 81

Richard Roundtree, , ‘Shaft’ Star, Dead at 81.

Roundtree died on Oct.

24 surrounded by his family, according to his manager, Patrick McMinn.

He had pancreatic cancer, NBC News reports.

Artists & Representatives Agency mourns the loss of our friend and client, Richard Roundtree, Patrick McMinn, Richard Roundtree's manager, via statement.

His trailblazing career changed the face of entertainment around the globe and his enduring legacy will be felt for generations to come, Patrick McMinn, Richard Roundtree's manager, via statement.

Roundtree was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, becoming an advocate for increased awareness among men.

.

The actor is best known for portraying John Shaft in the 'Shaft' franchise.

According to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the movie "introduced into mainstream cinema the African American action hero; until then, action-hero roles had been reserved for white actors.".

The film's success launched Roundtree into the spotlight and paved the way for other "strong Black protagonists in Hollywood," NBC News reports.

.

He went on to appear in several other films throughout the '80s and '90s, including 'Original Gangstas.'.

TV credits include 'CHiPs,' 'Magnum P.I.,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Chicago Fire' and more.

Roundtree has also appeared in Samuel L.

Jackson's newer versions of 'Shaft.'


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Shaft star Richard Roundtree, called 'first black action hero', passes away at 81

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