Bill Nunn, Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’, Dead at 63
Bill Nunn’s wife, Donna, has confirmed to the Associated Press that the beloved actor died after a bout with cancer.
Veteran actor Bill Nunn, who famously played Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s classic 1989 film Do the Right Thing, has passed away at age 63 on Saturday morning (Sept. 24).
Spike Lee went on his Instagram account to announced the sad news to his followers. The director didn’t reveal the exact cause of death. His post reads:
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. 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."
Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., William G. "Bill" Nunn III, was the son of William G. Nunn, Jr., a well-respected journalist and editor at the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper.
Nunn was a fantastic character actor of stage, film and television. A graduate from Atlanta's Morehouse College in 1976, Nunn made his acting debut in Spike Lee's 1988 film, School Daze. He would later be immortalized as the iconic movie character Radio Raheem in Lee's film Do the Right Thing, which tackled the problematic issues of race, policing and community relations in America.
Nunn played the boombox-carrying character in the fictional movie who died after being choked to death by police. Raheem's tragic death sparked the film's cinematic moment of violence and chaos.
Nunn would later star in two more of Lee's noteworthy films, Mo' Better Blues and He Got Game, alongside Denzel Washington. The veteran thespian also played another iconic role as Nino Brown's bodyguard Duh Duh Duh Man in the Mario Van Peeples-directed movie, New Jack City.
But Nunn played an assortment of memorable characters in film and television. His screen credits include Sister Act, Money Train, Foolish, Idlewild and the Spider-Man trilogy, in which he played Joseph "Robbie" Robertson.
Nunn was most recently seen playing the role of Cash in the short-lived USA series Sirens. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Upon hearing the sad news of Bill Nunn's death, fans, celebrity and artists went on social media to express their condolences.
We also want to send our heartfelt condolences to Bill Nunn's family and friends. He was a phenomenal actor and he will be sorely missed.
Peep the reactions below.