Celebrities have taken to social media to pay their respects to actor Richard Roundtree, best known for his role in 'Shaft', who passed away at 81 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Hollywood Pays Tribute to Late Actor Richard Roundtree

Respected for his influence on African American leading men in film and loved for his memorable role in the 'Shaft' series, actor Richard Roundtree passed away at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 81 after a short but fierce battle with pancreatic cancer. The news of his demise has led numerous members of the Hollywood fraternity to take to social media, expressing their grief and celebrating the actor's illustrious career that left an indelible impact on the industry.

Leading these heartfelt tributes was Samuel L. Jackson, the Marvel actor who shared screen space with Roundtree in the 2000 and 2019 reboots of 'Shaft'. Jackson took to Instagram to extol Roundtree, remembering not just his talent, but also the warmth of their shared moments. Calling Roundtree "the best to ever do it," Jackson's Instagram post also featured an image of him with Roundtree and Jesse T. Usher from 'The Boys'. Jackson bid goodbye with a touching message, picturing Roundtree walking "down the Middle of Main Street in Heaven," with angels whispering praises for the original 'Shaft' character, first embodied by Roundtree in 1971.

Beyond the 'Shaft' series, Roundtree's acting prowess was on display in other notable titles, including 'Roots', 'Once Upon a Time… When We Were Colored', and 'Man Friday'. Over his six-decade career, he appeared in all the four sequel installments of 'Shaft', reprising his famous role right until the 2019 reboot, highlighting the longevity and impact of his iconic character.

Other celebrities across the film industry who knew and worked with Roundtree also joined in to express their grief. Gabrielle Union, who starred alongside Roundtree in the TV series 'Being Mary Jane', shared on Twitter about her precious moments with the actor, calling them a "good ass time with the best stories & laughs." She remembered him as "the coolest man in the room" and talked about how people would "literally run over to come see him".

Similar sentiment was also voiced by actor Carl Weathers of 'Star Wars', referring to Roundtree as an influencing icon, and Taraji P. Henson of 'Hidden Figures'. Henson posted a behind-the-scenes picture from the 2019 comedy 'What Men Want' with Roundtree, wishing him to 'Rest in Paradise.'

As Hollywood mourns the passing of Richard Roundtree, it's clear to see how deeply he touched the lives of his fans, co-stars, and others in the film industry. His portrayal of African American leading men onscreen serves as a legacy that continues to inspire future generations, ensuring that his influence will live on. As Samuel L. Jackson fondly said, 'Shaft', and indeed the film industry, will always be Roundtree's creation. His passing undoubtedly leaves a deep void in the hearts of many, echoing the sentiment, "That Cat SHAFT Is A Bad Mutha."

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Adam Devine

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