Pittsburgh native Bill Nunn's prolific career earned him such a long list of roles, it's hard to believe the actor didn't set foot onscreen until he was 35 years old. The Morehouse College graduate had a degree in English and his career sights had always been set on writing. It wasn't until a fellow Morehouse graduate, Spike Lee, offered him a role in his 1988 film School Daze that Nunn decided to try his hand at professional acting. His power onscreen was undeniable, and so was his natural acting ability. He appeared in Lee's next film, the groundbreaking Do the Right Thing, and his iconic role as Radio Raheem cemented him as a career actor.
Memorable parts soon followed in 1990's Cadillac Man and 1991's controversial Mario Van Peebles film New Jack City. Critics and audiences were amazed that Nunn hadn't been learning the craft all his life, as he proved to be a bankable actor with the capacity to be both moving and funny. Nunn loved his work, too; he would continue to participate in multiple projects a year, amassing a resumé 50 roles long over the course of 20 years. Nunn's kind but steady gaze earned him a reputation for playing police officers, but from the political satire Canadian Bacon to the comic-book hero Spider-man movies, He appeared in the TV movie version of Raisin in the Sun in 2008 and made his last on-screen appearance as a series regular in the USA series Sirens. Nunn died in 2016, at age 63.