Actor Bill Nunn Who Created The Iconic “Radio Raheem” Role Has Passed Away

Actor William Nunn III, better known as Bill Nunn, has passed away, according to an Instagram post by his friend and longtime collaborator, Spike Lee. Nunn died in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA at the age of 62.

Nunn acted in several notable films throughout his career, including New Jack City, Sister Act, Money Train and the first three installments of the Spider-Man franchises. However, he likely will be best remembered for the many roles he played in films directed by Lee. While he and Lee both attended Morehouse College, they made their mark together in films like School Daze, Mo Better Blues and He Got Game.

Nunn’s most iconic character, undoubtedly, was that of “Radio Raheem,” from Lee’s Oscar-nominated film, Do The Right Thing. Raheem was a big, imposing figure who walked the streets of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY, proudly and loudly blaring music from his gigantic boombox. He was continuously playing Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power,” in an act of defiance and self-empowerment. With his gold chains, sneakers and high top fade, Raheem was unapologetically Hip-Hop, and the power Nunn brought to the role spoke for millions of men growing up as the first generation of the Hip-Hop Nation.

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In his Instagram post, Spike Lee referenced the role, as he spoke about 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,” said Lee. “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.”

No details have been released about the cause of Nunn’s death. Ambrosia For Heads extends its deepest condolences the to family, friends and legions of fans of Bill Nunn.