Happy 80th Birthday to "The First Black Action Hero, King #RichardRoundtree. Shaft catapulted Roundtree into mega stardom and put MGM studios back on its feet with the money the film made.
Roundtree was a former Ebony Fashion Fair model and a member of New York's renowned Negro Ensemble Company. One of his best early stage roles was as black heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson in "The Great White Hope". Roundtree portrayed private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft and in its two sequels, Shaft's Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973). Roundtree also appeared opposite Laurence Olivier and Ben Gazzara in Inchon (1981). On television he played Sam Bennett in the 1977 television series Roots and Dr. Daniel Reubens on Generations from 1989 to 1991.
More recently, Roundtree played the father in BET’s, Being Mary Jane starring alongside Gabrial Union and Margaret Avery. BHMD's Neema Barnette directed 2 episodes of the show. In 2019 Roundtree reprised his role for the sixth time in a new version of Shaft.
What is your favorite Richard Roundtree movie or television appearance?
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