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Happy Birthday To New Rochelle’s Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree turns 72 on Wednesday.
Richard Roundtree turns 72 on Wednesday. Photo Credit:

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to New Rochelle’s Richard Roundtree!

Richard Roundtree, who was born in New Rochelle, turns 72 on Wednesday.

Roundtree, an actor and former fashion model, was born July 9, 1942. He is best known for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film "Shaft" and in its two sequels, "Shaft's Big Score" (1972) and "Shaft in Africa" (1973).Roundtree played John Shaft in a CBS-TV television series by the same name from 1973 to 1974.

Roundtree also appeared opposite Laurence Olivier and Ben Gazzara in Inchon (1981). On television he played the slave Sam Bennett in the 1977 television series "Roots" and Dr. Daniel Reubens on "Generations" from 1989 to 1991. Prior to becoming an actor, he was a football player and a model.

Roundtree guest-starred in several episodes of the first season of "Desperate Housewives" as a private detective. He also appeared in 1997's "George of the Jungle," as well as playing a high-school vice principal in the 2005 movie "Brick." He has appeared in the television series "The Closer" and in "Heroes as Simone's terminally ill father, Charles Deveaux." Most recently, Roundtree has a supporting role in the 2008 "Speed Racer."

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