The actor, who had his breakthrough as private detective John Shaft, was 81 years old.
Roundtree wrote that he was ill with cancer and died Tuesday evening with his family by his side Delivery time.
-We mourn the loss of our friend and client Richard Roundtree. His pioneering career changed the world of entertainment, and his legacy will continue to be felt for generations to come, his management, artists and cast wrote in a statement to Deadline.
The actor played the role of private investigator John Shaft in the 1971 action film “Shaft”. For this role he was nominated for Best Newcomer of the Year at the Golden Globe Award.
Roundtree also starred in the sequels “Shaft Cleans Up” (1972) and “Shaft in Africa” (1973).
When director John Singleton remade Shaft in 2000, Roundtree was also in the cast alongside Samuel L. Jackson. He also starred in the sequel film “Shaft” in 2019.
“Death leaves a deep hole in my heart, and I’m sure it will leave the same in many of your hearts as well,” writes Samuel L. Jackson on Instagram – and praises Roundtree as the original “Shaft.”