‘The Mack’ star Max Julien has died at 88

Julien's public relations team told TMZ his wife found him early Saturday morning, but his cause of death hasn't been announced

Max Julien, star of the 1973 film The Mack and one of the most famous faces of the 1970s Blaxploitation film era, passed away on Saturday. He was 88.

Julien’s public relations team told TMZ his wife Arabella Julien found him early Saturday morning. Arabella told The Hollywood Reporter her husband was pronounced dead at Sherman Oaks Hospital on Saturday.

His cause of death has not been reported.

Max Julien stars in The Mack (1973). (Credit: IMDb)

“During Julien’s decades-long career, he was known for being bold, honest and straightforward,” the actor’s publicity team wrote in a statement to TMZ. “He would live and speak his own truth both professionally and privately. He was thought of as a rare ‘man among men.'”

Born in Washington D.C. in 1933, Julien took on his career-defining role as Goldie, a smooth-talking ex-con and pimp, in The Mack more than four decades ago. The character became so iconic, along with other Blaxploitation legends such as Dolemite, and Superfly, it remains part of American pop culture to this day.

Julien channeled Goldie’s essence to play Uncle Fred in Def Jam’s How to Be a Player, Bill Bellamy’s 1997 film about another professional ladies’ man.

Producer and comic book writer David F. Walker, who was friends with Julien, was among the first to share news of his passing on social media on Saturday.

“I met Max back in 1996,” Walker wrote on Instagram. “He was a great human being, and we had so many amazing conversations. He was brilliant and hilarious and charismatic… R.I.P.”

Julien wrote the screenplay for Cleopatra Jones, another Blaxploitation era classic. His other acting credits include The Black Klansmen (1966), Psych-OutGetting Straight (with Candice Bergen), Thomasine & Bushrod, in which he starred with his then-partner, actress Vonetta McGeeThe Mod Squad, The Bold Ones: The Protectors and One on One.

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