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Richard Roundtree

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Richard Roundtree
Richard Roundtree in February 2007
Richard Arnold Roundtree

(1942-07-09)July 9, 1942
DiedOctober 24, 2023(2023-10-24) (aged 81)
Cause of deathPancreatic cancer
Years active1970–2023
  • Mary Jane Grant
    (m. 1963; div. 1973)
  • Karen M. Ciernia
    (m. 1980; div. 1998)

Richard Arnold Roundtree (July 9, 1942 – October 24, 2023) was an American movie actor and fashion model. He portrayed John Shaft in the 1971 movie Shaft and its related sequels. He was also in many other movies.[1]

Early years and education[change | change source]

Roundtree was born on July 9, 1942, in New Rochelle, New York. His parents were John Roundtree and Kathryn Watkins. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1961.[2] During high school, he was a part of the school's highly successful football team. After completing high school, Roundtree went on to attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. In 1963, he decided to leave college and pursue a career in acting.[2]

Death[change | change source]

At the age of 81, Roundtree died of pancreatic cancer at his home in Los Angeles on October 24, 2023.[3]

Legacy[change | change source]

He has been called "the first Black action hero".[4] Roundtree was seen to have an impact on the rise of African American leading actors in Hollywood projects, thanks to his successful roles in the blaxploitation genre.[5] His role as Shaft was seen as a bold, confident, and charismatic person that also inspired cinematic roles of Black men and Black masculinity, whereas before Black men in movies before Shaft were seen as gentle and aimed to please others.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Richard Roundtree Biography Archived 2010-09-14 at the Wayback Machine Yahoo! Movies; accessed April 30, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Richard Roundtree". HistoryMakers. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  3. Koseluk, Chris (24 October 2023). "Richard Roundtree, Suave Star of 'Shaft,' Dies at 81". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. Tweedle, Sam, "I'm Just Talkin' About Shaft (And We Can Dig It)," Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict, Internet website [1], accessed August 20, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fulwood III, Sam (October 28, 2023). "Opinion: After 'Shaft,' Black Americans in film were never portrayed the same way". CNN. Warner Bros. Discovery Company. Archived from the original on October 29, 2023. Retrieved October 29, 2023.