Actor Bill Nunn, best known for his acclaimed role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee?s Do the Right Thing died at the age of 62. Director Lee announced the news on Instagram and Facebook Saturday, saying the actor had passed away in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
?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,? Mr. Lee wrote. ?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.?
The director later also shared an image of Nunn as Radio Raheem, with the ‘love’ and ‘hate’ brass knuckles he wore in the film. Nunn’s character walks around Brooklyn carrying a boom box blasting Public Enemy’s song ?Fight The Power? in the movie.
Cause of Death
Nunn?s family and sources close to the city?s theater community confirmed the actor?s death. No cause of death was provided to public. No one expected Nunn?s death at the relatively early age of 62. Those who knew Bill and loved his work, were left shocked at his unexpected death.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the actor?s wife, Donna, said he died at home in Pittsburgh and had been battling cancer. In his later years Nunn could be seen walking with a cane in photos. It could be possible that the actor kept his ill health secret.
Nunn was staying at a family home in the Hill District before his death. He is survived by his wife, Donna, and their two daughters Cydney Nunn and Jessica Nunn.
Other Notable Movies
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1953, Nunn was a 1976 graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia. His fellow alum Spike Lee landed him his first acting job in School Daze which was based on Lee?s own experience at the university. Nunn later went to act in Mr. Lee’s other movies ? Do the Right Thing?and Mo’ Better Blues.
Nunn was also known for his iconic role of the stuttering enforcer in the 1991 gangster film New Jack City. “I still get Duh Duh Duh Man in the grocery store and all that. To this day, 25 years later. Once a week, if not more,? Nunn told Eurweb in April. ?I get a lot of Duh Duh Duh man love. I don?t think it?s taken over Radio Raheem, but it?s become really memorable though to people.?
Nunn appeared in several movies Regarding Henry, Sister Act and Spider-man trilogy as well as numerous TV projects over his long career. He played ?Robbie Robertson in the original Spider-Man trilogy movies, starring Tobey Maguire.