Birthday: July 9, 1942 Birth
Place: New Rochelle, New York, USA Height: 6' 3"
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Richard Roundtree was a leading man in many "blaxploitation" movies in the 1970s. He is best known for his role as John Shaft in Shaft (1971), and starred in its two sequels as well. As the 1970s and 1980s progressed he starred more in low-budget movies. He was in a few occasional high-profile, if a tad offbeat, films. Among his more notable work in that period were Escape to Athena (1979), City Heat (1984) and the socially conscious but badly received A Game for Vultures (1979). Roundtree has been active in movies these days. He became popular again in the 1990s with his role in Se7en (1995), and was well received for reprising his role as the classic hero, and Samuel L. Jackson's uncle, in the 2000 remake of the film that made him a star, Shaft (2000).
Has tried to dissassociate himself as a "Black Action Hero" ever since he portrayed his famed role as John Shaft in the three Shaft films. From Miles Quade (the African American motorcycle stuntman in an Evel Knievel mold in Earthquake (1974) to an elderly senior citizen in "Soul Food" (2000), he has came to terms with the fact that he will always be known as Shaft.
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, he is an advocate now and talks to men's groups about early detection.
Former Ebony Fashion Fair model
Went to Southern Illinois University on a football scholarship.
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 (1878-1946) in "The Great White Hope."
Sidelines: Photographer and golfer.
His performance as John Shaft in "Shaft" (1971) is ranked #62 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
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