Richard Roundtree

LOS ANGELES - APR 27:  Richard Roundtree arriving at the TCM Cla

Roundtree in 2011, photo by kathclick/

Date of Birth: July 9, 1942

Place of Birth: New Rochelle, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: October 24, 2023

Place of Death: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American

Richard Roundtree was an American actor and model. He is known for starring as John Shaft in all five films in the franchise, from 1971 to 2019, and in a series of the same name; his portrayal gave rise to other black action heroes in American cinema. His roles also included the films Charley One-Eye, Earthquake (1974), Man Friday, Inchon, An Eye for an Eye (1981), Q – The Winged Serpent, Killpoint, City Heat, Jocks, Maniac Cop, Party Line, Night Visitor, Crack House (1989), Se7en, Original Gangstas, George of the Jungle, Steel (1997), Antitrust, and Speed Racer, and television’s Roots, Generations, and Desperate Housewives.

Richard was the son of Kathryn Marguerite “Katie” and John James Roundtree. He had two children with his former wife Mary Jane Grant; and three children with his former wife Karen Ciernia.

Richard’s paternal grandfather was Richard Frederick/Fred Roundtree (the son of Fred G. Roundtree and Janie/Janey Slater/Rear). Richard’s grandfather Fred was born in Georgia.

Richard’s paternal grandmother was named Mamie McQueen. Mamie was born in Georgia.

Sources: Genealogy of Richard Roundtree –

Richard’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

3 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    he has noticeable European facial features

  2. Fuzzybear says:

    Yes the original shaft,although I did like Samuel L in the part

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