Bill Nunn, known for his portrayals of Radio Raheem (Do the Right Thing) and the Duh Duh Duh Man (New Jack City), has died. He was 62.
Director Spike Lee, who collaborated with Nunnin several films, broke the news Saturday afternoon on social media.
“My Dear Friend, My Dear Morehouse brother – Da Great Actor Bill Nunn As Most Of You Know Him As Radio Raheem Passed Away This Morning In His Hometown of Pittsburgh (sic),” said Lee on Instagram. “Long Live Bill NUNN. RADIO RAHEEM Is Now RESTING IN POWER. RADIO RAHEEM WILL ALWAYS BE FIGHTING DA POWERS DAT BE. MAY GOD WATCH OVER BILL NUNN.”
Nunn made his film debut in Spike Lee’s acclaimed 1988 drama School Daze. He would star in three more Lee films: Do the Right Thing, Mo Better Blues and He Got Game. His performance in the former as the stoic Radio Raheem, who was killed in a confrontation with police, resonated with film goers and remains an iconic character in black cinema.
Do the Right Thing and New Jack City would influence a generation of new rappers and entrepreneurs. Cash Money Records founders Bryan “Birdman” and Ronald “Slim”Williams named their label after the Cash Money Brothers (CMB) drug cartel in New Jack City. Lil Wayne would name his Carter series after Nino Brown’s apartment complex turned crackhouse.
“I take it as very complimentary that these guys still care about us,” Nunn told Eurweb in April. “It’s great to see people still enjoying your stuff that you did. We put a lot into it years ago and I’m glad that people still get some enjoyment out of it.”
Nunn’s other film credits include the The Last Seduction, Sister Act, Candyman, and the Spiderman trilogy.
At press time, a cause of death has not been released.