Stars pay tribute to Richard Roundtree: “Thank you for blessing this world with your gifts”

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The tributes poured in for actor Richard Roundtree, who died Tuesday, October 24, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81. 

“The passing of Richard Roundtree is a real blow,” Samuel L. Jackson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Loved being around him, learning, working, laughing & feeling Blessed to have an idol live up to who I expected him to be!! Thanks for making us feel REAL GOOD about ourselves!”

Jackson, who shared the screen alongside Roundtree in the 2019 remake of the late actor’s most notable film, Shaft, took to Instagram with a similar heartfelt message, calling Roundtree “The Prototype, The Best To Ever Do It.”

Writing of his groundbreaking career as the first Black action hero, Loni Love said, “Sad to hear of the passing of Richard Roundtree.. He was fabulous as John Shaft at a time when there were few leading Black men in film. He put the sexy and cool in being a detective. Rest well.”

“I have no words for this loss,” Tia Mowry tweeted. She worked with Roundtree on the Netflix comedy series Family Reunion. 

“Richard, you have made such a lasting impact on my life. I am forever grateful for your warm energy, your light, your heart, and your incredible wisdom,” Mowry said.

Adding that she’ll miss their time together in their work trailers, she said, “Thank you for blessing this world with your gifts.”

Sheryl Lee Ralph shared a series of images of Roundtree to X along with her note: “When I was a teenager I use to dream about growing up to meet Richard Roundtree. I did and what a wonderful human being.”  

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Gabrielle Union and NAACP President Derrick Johnson also sent their condolences in notes on X, with Johnson calling Roundtree “a true icon.”

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