Richard Roundtree, a celebrated actor famous for his portrayal of a no-nonsense private investigator in the 1971 film “Shaft,” has passed away at the age of 81.
The sad news has been corroborated by Richard Roundtree’s manager, Patrick McMinn, who conveyed in a statement to Variety that the actor succumbed to pancreatic cancer following a brief struggle on a Tuesday afternoon (October 24).
Now, let’s delve deeper into Richard Roundtree’s family, the actor famous for his role in “Shaft,” experienced two marriages and divorces, first with Mary Jane Grant and later with Karen Michelle Ciernia. He is survived by five children, and we’ll explore more about them in this article.
Know All About Richard Roundtree’s Wives And Children
In November 1963, Richard Roundtree got married to his first wife, Mary Jane Grant. During their marriage, they became parents to two children: John James, the actor’s only son, and his eldest daughter, Kelli. Unfortunately, their marriage came to an end in December 1973 after a decade together.
Although Roundtree didn’t publicly discuss the details of his divorce, a 1972 interview with Ebony Magazine revealed that he expressed a desire for a partner who was “independent” and could be supportive of his career aspirations.
Seven years following his first divorce, Richard entered into a new marriage with Karen Michelle Ciernia. During this union, they became parents to three children named Nicole, Morgan, and Taylor. This marital journey spanned a total of eighteen years, coming to an end with their divorce in 1998.
The specific reasons behind their divorce have not been publicly disclosed. However, in 1993, several years prior to their separation, it was reported that he was in pursuit of an “intelligent” and “supportive” partner who could serve as “a good mother to my children.”
Iconic ‘Shaft’ Actor Richard Roundtree Passes Away At 81
Richard Roundtree passed away on a Tuesday afternoon after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old at the time of his passing.
Roundtree’s manager Patrick McMinn said in a statement, “Richard’s work and career served as a turning point for African American leading men in film. The impact he had on the industry cannot be overstated.”
Actress Gabrielle Union paid tribute to Roundtree on the platform X (formerly known as Twitter), sharing images from their time working together on the TV series “Being Mary Jane.”
Samuel L. Jackson, who acted alongside Roundtree in the “Shaft” reboot, expressed his feelings about the late actor on Instagram, referring to him as “The Prototype, The Best To Ever Do It!!” Jackson continued by saying, “His passing leaves a deep hole not only in my heart, but I’m sure a lotta y’all’s, too. Love you Brother, I see you walking down the Middle of Main Street in Heaven & Issac’s Conducting your song coat blowin’ in wind!! Angels whispering.”
The actor went on to have a remarkable career that spanned an impressive five decades, accumulating over 150 screen credits. Among his notable television appearances were in shows like “Roots,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Richard Roundtree also took on roles in films such as “Se7en,” “Speed Racer,” and “Brick.”