About Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree is a former model and famous actor from the United States popularly known for his starring role in the American crime film Shaft. He is considered to be the first black action hero in the film industry.

Quick Info
Full NameRichard Roundtree
Date of Birth9th July of 1942
Birth PlaceNew Rochelle of New York
Parent(s)John and Kathryn Roundtree
Occupationmodel and famous actor
Net Worth2 million dollars

Early life

Richard Roundtree was born on 9th July of 1942 in New Rochelle of New York. He is the son of John and Kathryn Roundtree, and he was a talented football player during his early teenage years. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1961 and later attended Southern Illinois University. He eventually dropped out of his university and left his football career to achieve acting professionally in 1963.



Richard Roundtree started his career as a model the year he dropped out of his university. Eunice W. Johnson found him, and he became a successful model. He started modeling for various products like cigarettes and hair grease.


Richard Roundtree made his breakthrough in his first film debut by starring in the hit action film Shaft in 1971. In the film, he starred as John Shaft and reached the top of his career. For his performance in the film, he earned his first Golden Globe Awards nomination in 1972 and NAACP Image Awards nomination in 1971. Following the success of Shaft in 1971 came its series Shaft’s Big Score! In 1972 and Shaft in Africa in 1973, all of which became super hit film of the generation.

During the making of the Shaft series, he also starred in various other films like Embassy as Richard Shannon in 1972, Charley One-Eye as the black man in 1973, man Friday as Friday. In 1979, he starred in the British adventure comedy war film Escape to Athena as Nat Judson alongside co-stars Roger Moore, Telly Savalas, and others. The same year, he starred in the film Portrait of a Hitman as coco Morrell, games for Vultures as Gideon Marunga, and Days of the Assassin as Fessler.

Roundtree played smaller roles and supporting roles in the coming years, and he has made his appearance in hundreds of films. He has also appeared in several short films as Veil as Michael Darden, Go Beyond the Lens, and The Bitter Earth.

In 2019, he again starred in the film Shaft as John Shaft I alongside star Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher.

richard roundtree


Richard Roundtree made his television debut in 1972 with a small role in the tv film Parachute to Paradise. He then made a recurring appearance in the American game show called Hollywood Squares.

In 1973, he played the main role in the tv series Shaft as John Shaft. In 1994, he was awarded MTV Movie + TV Awards with Lifetime Achievements Award. The series ended in 1974, and after the end of the series, he continued making small appearances in numerous tv series like Freedom Is, Roots, the Love Boats, Magnum, P.I., etc. He also made several regular appearances in miniseries like A.D., Outlaws, Beauty and the Beast, Roc, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper.

He achieved greater achievements from the tv series Generations in 1991, earning Soap Opera Digest Awards nomination and NAACP Image Awards nomination after his performance in the American drama series 413 Hope St. in 1998. Roundtree has also appeared in several television films like Freedom Is, The Baron and the Kid, The Fifth Missile, Masquerade, Bonanza: The Return, Black as the Heart, and many others. The African-American Film Critics Association awarded him Legacy Award in 2011 for his continuous performances in the film industry.

richard roundtree

Video Games:

Richard Roundtree has also voiced for 2 video games. In 1998, he voiced the character Akuji in the action-adventure video game called Akuji the Heartless. In 2006, he voiced for the character Burt campana in the open-world action-adventure video game called Scarface: The World Is Yours.


Personal life

Talking about Richard Roundtree’s personal life, he is currently single. He had been married twice in the past. He was first committed to Mary Jane Grant in 1963. She gave birth to his 2 children, and the couple ended their 10 years marriage in 1973. In 1980, he tied his knot with Karen M. Sirenia. Together they had 3 children but eventually got divorced in 1998. His children are Tayler, John James, Morgan, and Kelli Roundtree.

Roundtree had cancer in his breast, for which he went through chemotherapy and mastectomy in 1993.

Roundtree is not a social media user; thus, he doesn’t have Instagram, Twitter, nor Facebook accounts. It is hard to keep track of his regular life as he prefers to keep his personal life private from the public.


richard roundtreePhysical statistics & others

Richard Roundtree is 78 years old as of 2020, and as a former model and successful actor, he possesses a tall height and healthy weight. He is 6 feet and 3 inches tall with a bodyweight of about 75 kg. He belongs to African and American ethnicity, and his nationality is American. He had black hair, but he has grey hair and a grey beard since he has aged now. He has black eyes and dark shade skin.

Roundtree’s zodiac sign is Cancer, and without any doubt, his sexual orientation is straight.


Net worth

As of 2020, Richard Roundtree’s net worth is estimated to be around 2 million dollars. Hiss’s work as a model and a talented actor lead him to earn millions. Without any doubt, his net worth is expected to rise in the coming years as he is actively performing his role as an actor in the entertainment industry.