Hollywood is mourning the death of an icon today (September 22). It was shared that legendary filmmaker, actor, producer, composer, and innovator Melvin Van Peebles passed away at 89, and throughout the day, fans and friends of the star have stormed social media with tributes. Melvin is the father of equally as talented filmmaker Mario Van Peebles and the duo has been involved in creating some of the industry’s most memorable and celebrated projects.

Melvin was known for his participation and inclusion of features related to Blaxploitation films in the 1970s, but he also starred in features like Boomerang, Jaws: The Revenge, Posse, Living Single, and The Shining (miniseries).

One of his most celebrated and talked about works is Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, and the news of Melvin Van Peebles’s death came just ahead of the controversial film’s 50th anniversary. The Criterion Collection reportedly had planned on releasing a boxset titled “Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films” next week.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of a giant of American cinema, Melvin Van Peebles, who died last night, at home with family, at the age of 89,” Criterion tweeted. “In an unparalleled career, Van Peebles made an indelible mark on the international cultural landscape. He will be deeply missed.”

We send our sincerest condolences to the loved ones of Melvin Van Peebles. He leaves a legacy unlike any other. Read through tributes below.


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