Max Julien, Star of 1973 Blaxploitation Film “The Mack,” Dies at 88

Everett Collection

Max Julien, an actor best known for his lead performance in the 1973 blaxploitation classic “The Mack,” died on Saturday. He was 88 years old.

An official cause of death was not immediately available.

News of Julien’s death was confirmed by his friend, comic book writer and filmmaker David F. Walker. Walker posted a tribute to the late actor on his Instagram.

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

Released in 1973, “The Mack” co-starred Julien and Richard Pryor. Julien plays John “Goldie” Mickens, an ex-convict on a mission to make a name for himself by becoming the biggest pimp in Oakland, Calif, teaming up with Pryor’s Slim to build a criminal enterprise. The two find opposition in the Black Nationalist efforts headed by Goldie’s brother, as well as from racist law enforcement figures. “The Mack” has grown to become one of the most prominent classics of the blaxploitation era, with hip-hop and rap artists like Dr. Dre and Chief Keef sampling audio from the film in their work.

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SOURCE: Variety, J. Kim Murphy