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11th Annual Action Icon Awards

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In July of 2023, the Iconic Richard Roundtree was awarded the Living Legend award.

In 1971 Roundtree starred as John Shaft, Gordon Parks’ landmark film which is credited with launching the Blaxploitation genre. Shaft became the prototype of urban, classy, and effortlessly cool that was otherwise previously unseen on the movie screen.

During his acceptance speech, he credited Gordon Parks for his success and

“To be here to be honored as a legend, that’s heavy. Most of my legends are not here anymore.” Roundtree said. “When I think of legend, I think of Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Gordon Parks, who I owe my career to.”

Roundtree explains what the term ‘legend’ means in his eyes, while also give flowers to today’s legends.

“Legend is a very heavy word. I think of people who are legends, who you look up to who guide and nurture and give service to our community.” Roundtree explained. “I look at legends like Denzel Washington, who his entire career has been about our community and nurturing and giving back and pulling up others”.

Watch the full acceptance speech below!

He also had time to speak to WTLC’s own Karen Vaughn after the ceremony in which she asked him to give some advice to actors who may feel stagnant.

“Don’t look back, keep your eyes focused on the future on moving ahead when I look at my hero’s the Denzel Washington of the world, to name just one of the Sam to keep your eyes looking forward and moving and stay constant, keep the energy up and keep working. That’s the, the number one way to survive this business. You have to keep it moving.”

Watch Richard Roundtree’s interview with Karen Vaughn below!

Richard Roundtree Wins Living Legend Award At Indiana Black Expo July 2023  was originally published on