Richard Roundtree, The Star Of “Shaft” Passed Away At 81

Richard Roundtree, The Star Of “Shaft” Passed Away At 81 | Society Of Rock Videos

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Richard Roundtree, famous for his role in the Shaft movies, has passed away after battling pancreatic cancer.

His battle with pancreatic cancer, diagnosed just two months ago, came to a close on Monday at his Los Angeles home, surrounded by his family.

Roundtree’s Role as Detective John Shaft

The actor’s claim to fame lies in his portrayal of the character Detective John Shaft in the original Shaft film series. This includes the 1971 classic Shaft, its 1972 sequel Shaft’s Big Score!, and the 1973 trilogy, Shaft In Africa.

As one of the first Black action heroes in Hollywood, Roundtree made a significant contribution to film history. He was even nominated for New Star of the Year at the Golden Globe Awards for his outstanding performance in Shaft.

In addition to his film roles, Roundtree also graced television screens with his presence. He starred in the 1973 Shaft TV series, extending the legacy of his character. This made him the face of the Shaft franchise.

A notable moment in Roundtree’s career was his return to the role of John Shaft in the 2000 remake, sharing the screen with Samuel L. Jackson, who played Shaft’s nephew. This collaboration continued in the 2019 version, cementing his place in the hearts of new and old fans alike.

His TV Career Beyond ‘Shaft’

Beyond Shaft, Richard Roundtree also took part in the iconic Roots miniseries, where he portrayed the character of Sam Bennett, leaving an indelible mark on the small screen.

In more recent years, he played the role of Gabrielle Union’s father in the drama series Being Mary Jane. Union remembers Roundtree fondly, describing him as “the most welcoming and amiable person in the room.” His charisma drew people toward him, making him a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

The last known interview with Roundtree dates back to 2018 when he discussed his involvement in the Shaft reboots alongside Samuel L. Jackson, providing a glimpse into his enduring dedication to his craft.

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