Tuesday, March 2, 2021

We Remember: Actor Bill Nunn (Radio Raheem) Dies at 62

bill nunn
Bill Nunn

*Sadly we must report the death of actor Bill Nunn. He will forever be remembered for his iconic role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s 1989 Oscar-nominated film, ” Do the Right Thing.” Nunn was 62. He would’ve turned 63 on October 20.

Reports say the versatile actor passed away at his home in Pittsburgh after battling cancer. Besides his role in “Do the Right Thing,” he also appeared in Spike Lee’s “He Got Game” and “School Daze.”

Additionally, Nunn is remembered for his key role in “New Jack City” as the stuttering enforcer (Duh Duh Duh Man) and more recently he appeared in the “Spider-Man” franchise as the sympathetic newspaper editor Robbie Robertson.

Via Twitter, Spike Lee tribute Nunn:

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,” Lee Tweeted with a picture of Raheem. “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.”

bill nunn & spike lee (in-do-the-right-thing)
Bill Nunn and Spike Lee in 1989’s ‘Do the Right Thing’

Nunn, a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, was the son of a prominent Pittsburgh Steelers football scout, also named Bill Nunn. He was briefly a ballboy for the NFL team. Nunn broke through in movies in the late 1980s, first in Lee’s School Daze.

In Do the Right Thing, Radio Raheem’s ever-present boom box is the center of a street brawl that saw Raheem choked by police officers.

READ RELATED STORY: BILL NUNN REMEMBERS ‘NEW JACK CITY’ & FAVORITE DEATH SCENE

Lee tweeted about the choke-hold from the film by showing the shoes Nunn wore as Radio Raheem in the scene.

These Are The Nike Air Revolution’s (1988) Worn By Bill Nunn In His All Time Classic Iconic RADIO RAHEEM As He Was Murdered By The NYPD In The Infamous Michael Stewart (1983) And Eric Gardner (2014) CHOKEHOLDS, REST IN PEACE,” wrote Lee.

Nunn’s last role was in the TV comedy series “Sirens” from 2014-15 as a no-nonsense EMT and Vietnam vet Cassius “Cash” Clay.

The death scene of Radio Raheem in “Do the Right Thing”:

 

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