Richard Roundtree Net Worth: A Trailblazing Icon’s Success


A great American actor named Richard Arnold Roundtree left a lasting mark on the world of movies. He died on October 24, 2023, at the age of 81. He had a groundbreaking career and played many famous parts. People remember him most for playing the tough and charming private detective John Shaft in the 1971 movie “Shaft” and its four follow-ups. Because he played John Shaft, Roundtree was called “the first black action hero,” which shows how important he was in supporting diversity and African American representation in the movie business.

Who is Richard Roundtree?

Richard Roundtree was born on July 9, 1942, in New Rochelle, New York. He was very active and played football for the nationally ranked New Rochelle High School team. His height of 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 meters), which is very impressive, definitely added to his on-screen charisma and made his parts seem more real. There are more than 60 movies that Roundtree was in during his career, making him a very busy and well-known character. He was in a lot of important movies, like “Shaft,” “Shaft’s Big Score!,” “Steel,” and “George of the Jungle.”

Actor Richard Roundtree on set of the movie "Shaft's Big Score!", circa 1972.

Sad to say, Richard Roundtree died at his home in Los Angeles on a Tuesday afternoon, with his family by his side. He died after a short but fierce fight with pancreatic cancer. People will remember and honor his gifts to the world of movies and the way African Americans are portrayed in movies for many years to come.

Name Richard Roundtree
Estimated Net Worth( 2023) $2 Million Dollars
Profession American Actor
Date of Birth 9 July 1942
Age 81 years old
Height 188 cm (6 Feet 2 Inches)
Weight (209 lbs) 95 kg
Birthplace New Rochelle, New York, United States
Nationality American

Personal Life and Educational Qualification

Richard Roundtree was born in New Rochelle, New York, on July 9, 1942. He graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1961. His parents are Kathryn and John Roundtree. The high school football team at New Rochelle High was ranked nationally and had no losses. Richard played on that team. Roundtree went to Southern Illinois University after high school, but he dropped out in 1963 to start his job.

In his personal life, Roundtree was married to Mary Jane Grant until 1973. In 1980, he married Karen Michelle Ciernia. He also loved his kids very much. John James Roundtree, Kelli Roundtree, Morgan Roundtree, and Tayler Roundtree were some of them.

Acheivements of Richard Roundtree

Actor Richard Roundtree on set of the movie "Shaft's Big Score!", circa 1972.

In the early 1960s, Eunice W. Johnson, a modeling scout, found Richard and he began modeling in the Ebony Fashion Fair. After that, he posed for brands like Salem cigarettes and Duke hair grease. If you remember, Roundtree joined the Negro Ensemble Company in 1967. His first part was as boxer Jack Johnson in “The Great White Hope.” He was in a work by J. E. Franklin called “Mau Mau Room” at the Negro Ensemble Company Workshop Festival in 1969. Richard’s first movie part was in “Shaft,” which came out in 1971. He played private detective John Shaft again in “Shaft’s Big Score!” in 1972 and “Shaft in Africa” in 1973, as well as on the CBS show “Shaft” from 1973 to 1974. In 2000 and 2019, he was in the “Shaft” films, both of which starred Samuel L. Jackson as John Shaft II. Roundtree’s early acting roles included “Embassy” (1972), “Charley-One-Eye” (1973), “Earthquake” (1974), “Man Friday” (1975), “Diamonds” (1975), “Escape to Athena” (1979), “Portrait of a Hitman” (1979), “Game for Vultures” (1979), and “Days of the Assassin” (1979). He also played Sam Bennett in the Emmy-winning miniseries “Roots” (1977).

Richard got married to Mary Jane Grant on November 27, 1963. They had two children together before getting a divorce in late 1973. After that, he dated actress and TV star Cathy Lee Crosby. In September 1980, he married Karen M. Ciernia. It was 1998 when Roundtree and Ciernia got a divorce. They now have three kids together. Richard was told he had breast cancer in 1993 when he found a lump in his right breast. “When I got the news, I was shocked,” he told “USA Today” in 2001. I told myself, “I can’t have breast cancer.” “Men don’t get it.”” Roundtree went through a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. At first, he didn’t tell anyone about his disease because, “If they found out, my insurance company would not cover me.” And you need permission from an insurance company to work on a movie. I had to keep it a secret, which was sad. Richard eventually worked as a spokesperson for the Know Your Score men’s health care initiative and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.


While Richard Roundtree’s exact net worth is not publicly disclosed, his lasting impact on the entertainment industry is undeniable. His pioneering role as John Shaft and his dedication to diversifying his craft have undoubtedly played a substantial role in his financial success. Beyond his professional achievements, Roundtree’s advocacy for diversity in Hollywood and his mentorship demonstrate the holistic impact of his illustrious career. His enduring legacy continues to inspire actors and audiences alike.