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January 16, 2004

Superfly, R.I.P.

The man of the hour had an air of great power...

"Superfly" film star Ron O'Neal dies at 66

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.

O'Neal died Wednesday evening at Cedars Sinai Medical Center after a long bout with cancer, according to his wife, Audrey Pool O'Neal.

Born in Utica, N.Y., O'Neal was raised in Cleveland, where he became involved in Karamu House, an experimental interracial theatrical troupe.

He headed to New York in 1966 and became involved in theater, teaching school in Harlem to support himself. The payoff for the young actor came with a 1970 Obie Award for his performance in Joseph Papp's Public Theatre production of "No Place To Be Somebody."

His performance in the play brought O'Neal to the attention of the producers of "Superfly," who fell in love with his street-smart, rugged interpretation of an ultra-violent cocaine dealer who wants out of the business after one last big score...

Posted by jsmooth995 at January 16, 2004 2:12 AM

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