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NYT: Richard Roundtree, Star of ‘Shaft,’ Dies at 81


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Richard Roundtree, Star of ‘Shaft,’ Dies at 81


Richard Roundtree, the actor who redefined African American masculinity in the movies when he played the title role in “Shaft,” one of the first Black action heroes, died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.


The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his manager, Patrick McMinn, who said that it had been diagnosed two months ago.


“Shaft,” which was released in 1971, was among the first of the so-called Blaxploitation movies, and it made Roundtree a movie star at 29.


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