Roots and Brewster’s Millions Actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka Dies at 77

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Photo: YouTube.com/jituactor

Roots actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka passed away Tuesday of last week in Atlanta, reportedly following an illness and double amputation. Cumbuka’s niece Amber Holifield announced the actor’s death via a Facebook post. Cumbuka is perhaps most well-known to moviegoers as the sage slave Wrestler in the original 1977 Roots miniseries, or for his turns in friend Richard Pryor’s films Harlem Nights, Brewster’s Millions, and Moving. The actor has also appeared on a number of TV shows including Matlock, Walker Texas Ranger, In the Heat of the Night, and The A-Team. Cumbuka starred as a series regular on the 1979 spy series A Man Called Sloane, portraying Torque, the lead’s benevolent sidekick equipped with a mechanical hand. The actor was 77 at the time of his death.

Roots and Brewster’s Millions Actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka Dies at 77