Richard Roundtree, 'Shaft', dies at 81

Richard Roundtree, 'Shaft', dies at 81
Richard Roundtree, the man who will always be referred to as Shaft (shut up, he's a terrible mutha), has passed away. According to reports, the actor passed away on Tuesday, October 24, 23 at home with his family at his side. His short fight with pancreatic cancer ended in his death. Roundtree had been eighty-one.

The firm informed the outlet, "Artists & Representatives Agency mourns the loss of our friend and client Richard Roundtree." His groundbreaking career altered the global entertainment landscape, and his lasting influence will be felt for many years to come. At this trying moment, our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

Roundtree faced and overcame yet another health issue in 1993. He discovered a tumor on his chest while filming a scene in Costa Rica. He had a double mastectomy and a breast cancer diagnosis as a result of that.

"You have breast cancer, the doctor told me," Roundtree said to ABC News in 2007. It wasn't until later that I learned about the breast cancer aspect. It was unbelievable to me.

As we mentioned above, Roundtree's most well-known performance was in the 1971 action film "Shaft," in which he played investigator John Shaft. In the TV series and other follow-ups to the franchise, he played the same role. Additionally, Roundtree portrayed John Shaft in the reboots that starred Samuel L. Jackson in 2000 and 2019.

Gabrielle Union, Roundtree's co-star in "Being Mary Jane," responded to his passing on X:

It was a dream to work with Richard Roundtree. Spending time with him and our Being Mary Jane family was always a blast, filled with laughs and the greatest stories. People would practically race over to see him because he was always the coolest dude in the room with the BEST vibes. We all adored him and he was the best.

Comedian Loni Love also shared her thoughts on Roundtree's passing on X (formerly Twitter).

"Sad to learn of Richard Roundtree's demise... At a period when there were few main Black men in movies, he was fantastic as John Shaft. He made being a detective look attractive and cool. Get plenty of rest. My sympathies to his family.
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