Paul Benjamin, who played one of the three "cornermen" in 1989's Do the Right Thing, has died at age 81.

The film's director, Spike Lee, announced the tragic news via Instagram on Wednesday, along with a touching tribute.

"I'm Sad To Write That The Great Actor PAUL BENJAMIN (Who Played ML, {Far Left} One Of The Cornermen Passed This Past Friday, 2 Days Before The 30th Anniversary Of DO THE RIGHT THING," Lee wrote. "Rest In Paradise."

According to Lee, the veteran actor died June 28. Other details about Benjamin's death, including the cause, were not immediately available. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Benjamin was born on New Year's Day 1938 in South Carolina. He went on to study acting at Herbert Berghof's studio in NYC, and made his film debut in 1969's Midnight Cowboy. Benjamin would go on to appear in movies like Across 110th Street (1972), The Education of Sonny Carson (1974), Pam Grier's Friday Foster (1975), Clint Eastwood's Escape From Alcatraz (1979), Richard Pryor's Some Kind of Hero (1982), and more. He also made guest appearances on TV shows like on ER, The Shield, and Law and Order.

Revisit Paul Benjamin's Do the Right Thing performance below. 

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