Stage and screen actor, writer and director who starred in the 1972 blaxploitation-genre film, Super Fly. He reprised his role as Youngblood Priest in the sequel, Super Fly T.N.T.
He was born in Utica, New York and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio as the son of a jazz musician-turned-factory worker. Later, he attended Ohio State University and joined Karamu House, a Cleveland-based, African-American theatre company.
He debuted on Broadway in 1969, performing in Ceremonies in Dark Old Men. A year later, he received an Obie Award for his performance in a 1970 production of No Place to Be Somebody.
He divorced his first wife, Carol Tillery Banks, in 1980 and remained married to his second wife, Audrey Pool, until his death.
He was directed by Dustin Hoffman in a 1975 Broadway production of All Over Town.