Actor (New Rochelle, New York, USA, 7.9.1942)
Richard Roundtree is an American actor, born in New Rochelle, New York, in 1942. He was a lead in early 1970s blaxploitation films, his best-known role being detective John Shaft in the action movie, Shaft (1971), in its sequels, Shaft’s Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973), and in the eponymous CBS TV series (1973-74). He appeared also in acclaimed ABC TV series Roots (1977).
Before becoming an actor, he was a football player and a model. Although Roundtree worked throughout the 1990s, many of his films were not well-received, but he found success elsewhere in stage plays. During that period, he reemerged as well on the small screen as a cultural icon. Roundtree appeared in David Fincher’s critically acclaimed 1995 movie Seven, and in the 2000 Shaft again as John Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson playing the title character, the original Shaft’s nephew. Roundtree guest-starred in several episodes of the first season of Desperate Housewives as an amoral private detective. In 2011 he was awarded with a Legacy Award by African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).
In the Italian versions of his films, for the Shaft trilogy Roundtree was dubbed by Pino Colizzi. Other dubbers were Pietro Biondi (Shaft TV series), Giorgio Favretto (MacGyver), Vittorio Di Prima (John Singleton’s Shaft), Michele Gammino (Brick), Sandro Iovino (Se7en), Giancarlo Maestri (Roots), Domenico Maugeri (Resurrection Blvd.), Renato Mori (Corky Romano), Saverio Moriones (Alias), Angelo Nicotra (George of the Jungle), Diego Reggente (Heroes), Alessandro Rossi (An Eye for an Eye, Antitrust), Piero Tiberi (Boat Trip, Desperate Housewives).
Richard Roundtree appeared also in four Italian features in late 1980s and early 1990s. First came two action movies produced by A.M. Trading International S.r.l.: in La vendetta aka Getting Even by Leandro Lucchetti, filmed in Bangkok and in New York City, Roundtree played the role of Dundee, a Vietnam veteran trying to solve a traffick in illegal arms involving a former comrade; in Miami Cops by Alfonso Brescia aka Al Bradley, never released in Italian theatres, he played Gamble, a tough cop, coupled again to Michael I. Aronin. In 1991 Roundtree starred again in a TV movie produced for Canale 5, Nero come il cuore (Black as the Heart), inspired to Giancarlo De Cataldo’s novel, as the generous leader of African community based in Rome, victim of organ trafficking: the TV movie cast also several other Afrodescendant non professional actors. Two years later, he came back to play in a 2 episodes series, Moscacieca, directed by Mario Caiano and produced by RAI, as an inspector in his fifties who take over the case of a murder in a luxury boarding-house on a Caribbean island. Here he was dubbed by Diego Reggente.
La vendetta (Leandro Lucchetti, 1989, ff, act), Miami Cops (Alfonso Brescia [Al Bradley], 1989, ff, act), Nero come il cuore (Maurizio Ponzi, 1991, tvm, act), Moscacieca (Mario Caiano, 1993, tvms, act)
Frame taken from:
La vendetta. Dir. Leandro Lucchetti. A.M. Trading International, 1989.
Contributors: Leonardo De Franceschi
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