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Richard Roundtree Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (4)

Overview (2)

Born in New Rochelle, New York, USA
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Richard Roundtree's iconic career began while attending Southern Illinois University where he was on a football scholarship. After being spotted Richard signed with Johnson Publications to model in their Ebony Fashion Fair, touring 79 cities in 90 days. But rather than returning to school, Roundtree headed off to his home state of New York to begin acting lessons. He soon was asked to become a member of New York's acclaimed Negro Ensemble Company. A succession of Off-Broadway roles resulted in his starring as Jack Johnson in "The Great White Hope".

Richard's life would change forever when he was cast in the role of private detective John Shaft in the legendary "Shaft" movie franchise. This film immediately thrust Richard into the international spotlight, not only making him a worldwide household name but one of Hollywood's hottest young actors.

In the over 100 film and television projects that followed Richard had the opportunity to share the screen with a list of Hollywood's most legendary actors including Clint Eastwood, Peter O'Toole, David Niven, Laurence Olivier, in addition to Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, and Brad Pitt.

On television he has been a series regular on several hit shows where he has garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Series, and a Peabody Award for his narration of the PBS documentary "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow".

An advocate in the fight against breast cancer and a 25-year male breast cancer survivor himself, Richard has taken a stand by participating in events that help raise awareness and funds towards finding a cure for this disease.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Karen M. Ciernia (September 1980 - ?) (divorced) (3 children)
Mary Jane Grant (27 November 1963 - 13 December 1973) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Son, John James, b. 3 November 1998.
Also father of four daughters
Has tried to disassociate 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 (VIII)_ (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.
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.".
Cousin of Maxine Austin.
He is left-handed.

Personal Quotes (1)

[referring to Shaft (1971)] "Number one, it put me on the map . . . To this day that film still works . . . I was blessed."

Salary (4)

Shaft (1971) $12,500
Shaft's Big Score! (1972) $50,000
Earthquake (1974) $50,000 for 10 weeks
Inchon (1981) $200,000

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