Tributes Paid To Late Shaft Star Richard Roundtree

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Tributes have been paid to the late actor and Shaft star Richard Roundtree, who died aged 81.

Roundtree was considered by many to be the first action hero, becoming one of the leading actors in the ‘blaxploitation’ genre through his street savvy character John Shaft.

John Shaft played a key role in how black films were being viewed in Hollywood, which usually discounted black actors, when it came to choosing actors for leading roles in projects at the time.

These films would often see Shaft engage in a world of thugs, and saw he come out with some iconic catchphrases, “It’s my duty to please that booty”. 

His death was confirmed by his long time manager Patrick McMinn, who said that the actor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Tributes Paid To Roundtree 

Following his death, Samuel L Jackson paid a warm tribute to Richard Roundtree.

Shaft, as we know it is & will always be his Creation,” he wrote. “His passing leaves a deep hole not only in my heart, but I’m sure a lotta y’all’s, too”. 

See this post in full here. 

Actress Taraji P Henson starred alongside Roundtree in a comedy ‘What Men Want’ in 2019. She also paid tribute to the late actor.

She said, “Rest in paradise #RichardRoundtree the original” #Shaft

Academy Award winner Viola Davis also posted these kind words in Roundtrees’ honour via Instagram. Check that out for yourselves here.

“You epitomized Black manhood on-screen when we so desperately needed it”, she wrote.  “The strength, authority, the mystery and ownership of sexuality seared through the screen and into our lives. You left us with that. Rest well Mr. Roundtree”. 

See more tributes below.

Richard Roundtree was married twice, and is survived by four daughters, and one son.