Richard Roundtree dead aged 81: Shaft star dies after battle with pancreatic cancer | The Sun

SHAFT star Richard Roundtree has died aged 81 after battle with pancreatic cancer.

The actor died with his family by his bedside, Deadline reported.

Roundtree’s death was confirmed to Deadline by his agency, Artists & Representatives, and his longtime manager, Patrick McMinn.

“Artists & Representatives Agency mourns the loss of our friend and client Richard Roundtree,” the agency said in a statement.

“His trailblazing career changed the face of entertainment around the globe and his enduring legacy will be felt for generations to come.

"Our hearts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

The outlet reported he died after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

The actor is best known for his role as detective John Shaft in the 1971 action thriller.

He then reprised the role in its sequels, Shaft’s Big Score! in 1972 and Shaft in Africa 1973 as well as the Shaft TV series in 1973.

And in 2000, Roundtree starred in the John Singleton movie Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson.

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His TV credits also included his role as Sam Bennett in the 1977 miniseries Roots, Alias, Desperate Housewives and Family Reunion.

The actor's most recent role was as a lead character on Cherish The Day.

His other film credits include George of the Jungle, Moving On and Se7en.

Tributes have already been paid to the star, with his Being Mary Jane co-star Gabrielle Union writing on Twitter: "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."

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