Bill Nunn, Radio Raheem in Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing,' Dies at 62

Bill Nunn Do the Right Thing - H 2016

Lee paid tribute to the actor on his social media accounts, writing, "Radio Raheem is now resting in power."

Bill Nunn, best known for playing Radio Raheem in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, has died. He was 62.

Lee shared the news on his Instagram and Facebook accounts, writing that the actor passed away Saturday morning in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Nunn's wife confirmed to the Associated Press that he had been battling cancer.

Nunn made his film debut in Lee's musical-comedy School Daze in 1988 and collaborated with the filmmaker on multiple features in the following years. After landing his well-known role as Radio Raheem and blasting Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" on the streets of Brooklyn in Do the Right Thing, he subsequently starred in Lee's Mo' Better Blues and He Got Game alongside Denzel Washington.

"Radio Raheem is now resting in power. Radio Raheem will always be fighting da powers dat be," Lee captioned an image of Nunn from the 1989 film. "May God watch over Bill Nunn."

In a second post, the director shared a graphic of Radio Raheem's signature "Love/Hate" brass knuckle rings alongside one of the character's most memorable quotes in the film. "Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It's a tale of good and evil," the post begins. Lee ended the post with, "Raheem I love you bruh..."


Radio Raheem. Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It's a tale of good and evil. Hate! It was with this hand that Cane iced his brother. Love! These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love. The story of life is this: static. One hand is always fighting the other hand, and the left hand is kicking much ass. I mean, it looks like the right hand, Love is finished. But hold on, stop the presses the right hand is coming back. Yeah, he got the left hand on the ropes, now, that's right. Yea, Boom, it's a devastating right and Hate is hurt, he's down. Ooh! Ooh! Left-Hand Hate KOed by Love. If I love you, I love you. But if I hate you...Mookie: there it is, Love and Hate. Raheem I love you bruh...

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

Nunn, who also had a supporting role in the Spider-Man trilogy as Marvel character Joseph "Robbie" Robertson, was most recently seen playing Cash in the short-lived USA series Sirens. The actor is survived by his wife, Donna, and two children.