Rest in peace, Ji-Tu Cumbuka.
According to PEOPLE, the actor best known as Wrestler from the miniseries “Roots” has died at the age of 77. Cumbuka reportedly died on Tuesday, July 8, in Atlanta, Ga.
“In my Uncle Ji-Tu’s final days until his final moments he was surrounded with love and support!” his niece Amber Holifield wrote on Facebook.. “It’s was a blessing for all of us to be together in his final hour, and not to mention we pretty much stayed at the hospital with him, and boy did he enjoy our company. The nurses, maybe a different story… lol. He stayed strong and just as sweet as he wanted to be the entire time and that I will never forget that!!”
LaVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte in the miniseries, shared his condolences on Twitter, writing, “He played the Wrestler in the original ‘Roots’, one of Kunta’s primary mentors; as he was for my first gig! #RIP.”
Cumbuka also starred in several roles on the big screen, including his role as the “Toothless Gambler” in “Harlem Nights.” He also appeared in “Brewster’s Millions,” “Mandingo,” “Bound For Glory,” “Dr. Black” and “Fun with Dick and Jame.”
May he rest in peace.