NEW YORK — Melvin Van Peebles, a Broadway playwright, musician and movie director whose work ushered in the “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s, has died.
He was 89. His family said in a statement that Van Peebles died Tuesday night at his home.
Sometimes called the “godfather of modern Black cinema,” the multitalented Van Peebles wrote numerous books and plays, recorded several albums and later became a successful options trader on the stock market.
But he was best known for “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” one of the most influential movies of the 1970s.