UPDATE 9:49PM: 6ABC is reporting that Bill Nunn had been battling cancer, and that his wife Donna confirmed that he passed away at his home in Pittsburgh.
Original post is below.
Bill Nunn, a veteran actor who is best known for his role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, has reportedly died. He was 62 years old.
Spike Lee shared the news on Instagram, confirming Nunn died in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa. As of this report, there is no further information about his death. Lee wrote,
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.
Lee also posted a Facebook message about Nunn, echoing his sentiments about his friend.
Lee posted more anecdotes on IG, breaking down the famous "Right Hand, Left Hand" quote and the sneakers Nunn wore as Radio Raheem.
Radio Raheem. Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It's a tale of good and evil. Hate! It was with this hand that Cane iced his brother. Love! These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love. The story of life is this: static. One hand is always fighting the other hand, and the left hand is kicking much ass. I mean, it looks like the right hand, Love is finished. But hold on, stop the presses the right hand is coming back. Yeah, he got the left hand on the ropes, now, that's right. Yea, Boom, it's a devastating right and Hate is hurt, he's down. Ooh! Ooh! Left-Hand Hate KOed by Love. If I love you, I love you. But if I hate you...Mookie: there it is, Love and Hate. Raheem I love you bruh...
A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Sep 24, 2016 at 12:04pm PDT
These Are The Nike Air Revolution's (1988) Worn By Bill Nunn In His All Time Classic Iconic RADIO RAHEEM As He Was Murdered By The NYPD In The Infamous Michael Stewart (1983) And Eric Gardner (2014) CHOKEHOLDS. REST IN PEACE.
A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Sep 24, 2016 at 12:24pm PDT
An Original Poem By Lemon Andersen ...And than there was Radio Raheem, Flat top, tight fade, Built like an '89 NY Giant, The Majestic Brother you could hear two blocks away in any direction pumping Public Enemy from the horns of his Ghetto Blaster, the Conscience brother who wanted nothing but to be alone and live in the loud solace of his Radio... A Young, Black, Beautiful Man who died in the hands of Blue Fear and White Fury. People walked across the street when Radio Raheem came down the Block, the Starch in his frame scared them away from the Gap in his smile. The four fingered rings were seen like Brass knuckles when if you stopped him like Mookie did as the sun set On that Hot summer day in BK, Brooklyn You would see Raheems hands like his mind were worth its weight in Gold.
A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on Sep 24, 2016 at 1:39pm PDT
Nunn was a 1976 graduate of Morehouse College. President John Silvanus Wilson wrote on Twitter a remembrance of a fellow Morehouse Man:
We remember actor Bill Nunn a 1976 @Morehouse graduate who passed away today...— John Silvanus Wilson (@MorehousePrez) September 24, 2016
Ironically for these times one of Bill's most notable roles is Radio Raheem the blk man who died from police brutality. R.I.P. Morehouse Man— John Silvanus Wilson (@MorehousePrez) September 24, 2016
In the early ‘90s, Nunn appeared in other iconic roles. He was in School Daze, New Jack City as the Duh Duh Duh Man, Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg, True Crime with Alicia Silverstone and Kevin Dillon, and many more. In the 2000s, he landed a role as Joseph “Robbie” Robertson in the Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi. Most recently, he appeared in the paramedic comedy Sirens.
Fans reacted about the unfortunate news on Twitter. You can read some of their messages below.
The news about Bill Nunn really hurt me. I was just thinking about Do The Right Thing and how hot Buggin'Out was when dude stepped on his 4s— iLL SMiTH (@iSeeU_SMiTTy311) September 24, 2016
RIP Bill Nunn. Loved him in the classic movies, Sister Act, School Daze and Do the Right Thing. pic.twitter.com/QjhZwiVrcl— BreezyTalks ☔️ (@breezyavant) September 24, 2016
Rest in heaven Bill Nunn. Thank you sir for entertaining us with your craft. pic.twitter.com/pef89eTOrn— James Otis Hall III (@Txcowpatty72) September 24, 2016
Rest in Peace to Bill Nunn, and thank you for changing the narrative reminding us to always fight the power. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/cP5jZy3yo0— Blame The Label ™ (@blamethelabel) September 24, 2016
Hip-hop figures such as DJ Drama and 9th Wonder have also posted heartfelt messages on Nunn.
A photo posted by 9th Wonder (@9thwonder) on Sep 24, 2016 at 11:32am PDT
This story is developing.