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'Superfly' Star Ron O'Neal Dies

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'Superfly' Star Ron O'Neal Dies

Old 01-19-04, 10:26 AM
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'Superfly' Star Ron O'Neal Dies


Actor Battled Cancer

POSTED: 9:19 a.m. EST January 19, 2004

Ron O'Neal, whose role as cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest in the 1972 film "Superfly" epitomized the so-called "blaxploitation" film genre of that era, has died.

He was 66.

His wife says O'Neal died Wednesday night at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer.

His performance in Joseph Papp's Public Theatre production of "No Place To Be Somebody" brought O'Neal to the attention of the producers of "Superfly."

The film was a surprise hit, leading O'Neal to reprise the role and take over directing chores in the sequel, 1973's "Superfly TNT."

He later played in such low-budget films as "Mercenary Fighters" in 1987 and "Up Against the Wall" in 1991, which he also directed.

O'Neal capped his career with a performance in 2002's "On The Edge."

Old 01-19-04, 12:36 PM
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Very sad. I was just watching the DVD the other day and wondered why O'Neal wasn't interviewed for the supplements. Now I know.
Old 01-19-04, 04:47 PM
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E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY did a special on him about a year ago and he looked quite alright. What a shocker.

Sure, he was best known for being in Superfly, but people shouldn't forget his performance in Red Dawn as the Cuban commander. Goes to show he had more range as an actor than folks were led to believe.

Old 01-19-04, 09:48 PM
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Old 01-20-04, 10:56 AM
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Really sad news. Did he also play the Cuban commander in Red Dawn?
Old 01-20-04, 11:05 AM
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I saw "Superfly" with some friends when I was a senior in high school. It blew our minds wide open, and in addition to teaching us of the genius of Curtis Mayfield (STILL one of the all-time great film soundtracks) it made Ron one of our heroes. R.I.P.

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