Keith Jefferson, best known for his role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” has died. He is 53 years old.
A rep for Jefferson confirmed to : “I am deeply saddened by Keith’s passing. He was a brilliant talent and this is a huge loss for the arts community.”
“He had several projects in the pipeline and was working on one that captured his unique and resounding voice. He had been looking forward to returning in the new year. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and close friends.”
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Jefferson also starred in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood alongside Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also worked with Tarantino on “The Hateful Eight.”
Following the news of Jefferson’s death, Jamie Foxx took to social media to share a touching message to his dear friend.
“Everything is so painful right now, it’s hard to look through these photos and relive the wonderful times we had, we will miss you, I will miss you…” Fox, 55, posted on Instagram.
“You have been in incredible soul God rest ever since we met in college and never thought I would see those words said about my friend Rip.”
Foxx included a photo of him and Jefferson shaking hands at the airport with his post.
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The “Ray” star’s daughter Coleen responded to the post with a red heart emoji.
Fox continued to share photos of Jefferson on his Instagram Story, including one of his dear friend smiling for the camera as he posed with Tarantino and rapper Snoop Dogg.
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Before his death, Jefferson posted a black-and-white photo of himself in a hospital bed.
“Every now and then God will give you a challenge and leave it to you to solve it. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I had to stop, pause, and not want to share it with anyone,” he said in part.
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Jefferson was born in Houston to Lovie Jefferson and the late Rev. Edward Jefferson.
In addition to being a talented actor, Jefferson was also an outstanding athlete, competing in football, track and basketball while growing up at Eisenhower High School, iMDB reported.
Jefferson earned a bachelor’s degree in musical theater from American International University/Conservatory of the Performing Arts in San Diego and an MFA in acting from the University of Arizona in Tucson.
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He played the role of Charlie in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell.
Jefferson played gang member “Pumpy Ralph” in the Academy Award-winning “Django Unchained.”
In addition to being an actor and singer, Jefferson provides workshops for aspiring entertainers and works as a voice-over artist and director, according to media reports.
Jefferson is an honorary member of Screen Actors Fair and the Screen Actors Guild.