Samuel L. Jackson, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson are among Hollywood notables remembering Richard Roundtree, who died Tuesday at the age of 81.
His manager, Patrick McMinn, told The Hollywood Reporter that the Shaft star died at his Los Angeles home of pancreatic cancer. Roundtree had other memorable roles in Roots, Once Upon a Time … When We Were Colored and Man Friday.
Jackson, who took over the Shaft film franchise from Roundtree in 2000, also starred as John Shaft’s (Roundtree) nephew in the sequel to the 1971 movie. Apart from appearing together in the 2000 movie, Roundtree and Jackson also teamed up again for the 2019 Shaft sequel.
In a touching tribute on Instagram, Jackson wrote, “Richard Roundtree, The Prototype, The Best To Ever Do It!! SHAFT, as we know it is & will always be His Creation!!”
He continued, “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 Talkin’ Bout SHAFT!! THEN WE CAN DIGIT.”
Union, who starred alongside Roundtree in the series Being Mary Jane, remembered the veteran actor on social media, writing, “Working with Richard Roundtree was a dream. Getting to hang with him & our Being Mary Jane family was always a good ass time with the best stories & laughs. He was ALWAYS the coolest man in the room with the BEST vibes & ppl would literally run over to come see him. He was simply the best & we all loved him.”
Henson shared a photo on Instagram of her and Roundtree together in the 2019 movie What Men Want. She wrote in the caption, “Rest in paradise #RichardRoundtree the original #Shaft.”
Read more tributes below.