BREAKING: Popular actor dies after prolonged battle with cancer [PHOTO]

Popular United States actor, Richard Roundtree, has been confirmed dead.

Roundtree reportedly died on Tuesday, October 24, at the age of 81.

He was surrounded by family members at the time of his passing.

Roundtree passed away following brief battle with pancreatic cancer, Daily Mail reports Wednesday.

Roundtree, who was born in New Rochelle, New York, in 1942, was a star football player in high school before attending Southern Illinois University.

However, he dropped out in 1963 after planning to start a career as a model.

He moved to New York City and began acting in stage productions later in the 1960s, but his first major film role as the title character in ‘Shaft’ changed his career forever and established him as an in-demand film and television star.

He is best known for starring as private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film ‘Shaft’ and its sequels, which made him nominated for the Golden Globe award for New Star of the Year for the 1971 film.

Other classic or popular films he appeared in included Earthquake (1974), Body Of Influence (1993), Maniac Cop (1988), Se7en (1995), George Of The Jungle (1997) and Brick (2005).

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