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Richard Roundtree

9 July 1942 to 24 October 2023

An American actor, who’s best known for his portrayal of uncompromising New York detective John Shaft in a trilogy of influential blaxploitation films - Shaft (1971), Shaft’s Big Score! (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973) – as well as a spin-off television series (1973-1974). Richard Roundtree would also return as a version of the original Shaft for two film reboots of the character in 2000 and 2019. Outside of this role, Roundtree made more than 150 screen performances, including such notable films as Earthquake (1974), Man Friday (1975), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), The Big Score (1983), City Heat (1984), Maniac Cop (1988), Se7en (1995), George of the Jungle (1997) and Brick (2005). On television, he guested on many popular series, including Roots (1977), with regular roles in Outlaws (1986-1987), Generations (1990), Diary of a Single Mom (2009-2011), Being Mary Jane (2013-2019) and Family Reunion (2019-2022).

Read Richard Roundtree's Guardian obituary

Read Richard Roundtree's New York Times obituary

Read Richard Roundtree's Telegraph obituary

Read Richard Roundtree's Variety obituary