Highly influential Black filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles has died. Peebles passed away in his home on Tuesday night at the age of 89.
Van Peebles, a novelist, playwright, musician, and artist, influenced many contemporary filmmakers like Spike Lee and John Singleton along with his own son Mario Van Peebles.
Van Peebles’ influential films include “The Story of a Three-Day Pass,” “Watermelon Man” and “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”. He crafted the Tony-nominated musicals “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death” and “Don’t Play Us Cheap”.
He also served as an actor in various films and series including “Last Action Hero,” “Boomerang,” “Posse,” “Terminal Velocity,” the infamous “Jaws: the Revenge” and the mini-series version of “The Shining”.
A box set of Van Peebles cinematic works titled “Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films” will be released by The Criterion Collection next week.