HOLLYWOOD—On Tuesday, October 24, it was announced that actor Richard Roundtree, known for his role in the 1971 film “Shaft” died at the age of 81. The actor died from pancreatic cancer at his Los Angeles home surrounded by family and friends on October 23, his manager Patrick McMinn disclosed. It was reported that Roundtree was diagnosed 2 months ago.

Roundtree starred in the 1971 flick, which grew fame during the Blaxploitation era of cinema, making the actor a star. He also starred in the 1972 sequel, “Shaft’s Big Score” and “Shaft in Africa.” He earned a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year – Actor in 1972. The film earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song for musician Isaac Hayes.

He made appearances in the films “Earthquake,” “Diamonds,” “Original Gangsters,” “Seven,” alongside Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, and appeared in the 2000 remake of “Shaft” that starred Samuel L. Jackson and Vanessa Williams. He also appeared in the 2019 remake “Shaft” that also starred Jessie T. Usher and Samuel L. Jackson. He made appearances in the TV series “Roots,” “CHiPs,” “A Different World,” “Amen,” “L.A. Law” and recently in “Star” and “Cherish the Day.”

The actor was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 and had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy to fight the cancer. Actor Samuel L. Jackson posted on the following statement on his Instagram page after learning of Roundtree’s passing:

“Richard Roundtree, The Prototype, The Best To Ever Do It!! SHAFT, as we know it is & will always be His Creation!! His passing leaves a deep hole not only in my heart, but I’m sure a lotta y’all’s, too…Love you Brother, I see you walking down the Middle of Main Street in Heaven & Issac’s Conducting your song coat blowin’ in wind!! Angels whispering, “That Cat SHAFT IS A Bad Mutha, Shutcho Mouth!! But I’m Talking’ Bout SHAFT!! THEN WE CAN DIGIT.”