Max Julien, an actor and producer who starred as a pimp in the 1973 blaxploitation film The Mack, died Saturday. He was 88.
Julien passed away at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles, his wife Arabella Julien told The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death was given.
The actor’s breakout role came in The Mack as Goldie, an ex-con who gets out of prison after a five-year sentence and becomes “king of the pimping game.” Goldie runs into trouble when corrupt white cops and a crime lord try to force him out of business, according to IMDb.com. Richard Pryor co-starred as Julien’s sidekick Slim. Roger E. Mosley, of Magnum, P.I. fame, also had a role in the film as Olinga.
Comic book writer and filmmaker David F. Walker initially shared the news of Max Julien’s passing on Twitter.
“I met Max back in 1996. He was a great human being, and we had so many amazing conversations. He was brilliant and hilarious and charismatic… R.I.P.,” Walker tweeted.
Julien was born in Washington, D.C., according to his IMDb page. He began his acting career on stage in New York, with roles in off-Broadway shows. After moving to California, he landed parts alongside Jack Nicholson in Psych-Out (1968), and Candace Bergen and Elliott Gould in Getting Straight (1970).
Julien wrote, produced, and starred in the 1974 blaxploitation film Thomasine & Bushrod. The movie co-starred Vonetta McGee and was directed by Gordon Parks Jr. The plot centered on two thieves who operate in the South between 1911 and 1915, and steal from rich white people, then give their take to Mexicans, Native Americans and poor whites.