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".
Richard was born in New Rochelle, New York, to Kathryn and
John Roundtree. 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