‘Do the Right Thing’ Actor Paul Benjamin Dies at 81

Edduin Carvajal
Jul 05, 2019
02:45 P.M.
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Paul Benjamin, the actor who worked next to Clint Eastwood in 1979’s “Escape from Alcatraz” and appeared in several other projects, passed away aged 81.


His death was announced by legendary director Spike Lee who shot “Do the Right Thing,” a film in which Benjamin portrayed one of the three wise Brooklyn “cornermen.”


According to Lee’s Instagram post, Benjamin died on June 28. The image showed a scene of the previously mentioned movie showing Benjamin and the other two cornermen.

“I’m Sad To Write That The Great Actor PAUL BENJAMIN (Who Played ML, {Far Left} One Of The Cornermen Passed This Past Friday,2 Days Before The 30th Anniversary Of DO THE RIGHT THING. Rest In Paradise. Born 1/1/38. Died 6/28/19,” wrote Lee in the caption.


Benjamin was the youngest of 12 children. He was born to Reverend Fair Benjamin, who was a Baptist preacher, and his wife, Rosa. His family lived in Pelion, South Carolina.

He had some other notable roles in 1972’s “Across 100th Street,” 1976’s “Leadbelly,” 1991’s “The Five Heartbeats,” and 1997’s “Rosewood.”


After 2000, Benjamin started getting fewer roles and started acting mainly in independent films such as “Stanley’s Gig,” “The Station Agent,” and “Back in the Day.”

“Do the Right Thing” is considered one of Lee’s most successful projects. Through it, the careers of several actors significantly elevated, including Samuel L. Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Giancarlo Esposito, and Danny Aiello. So far, the details of his death are not public knowledge.

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