Max Julien, best known for his lead role in the 1973 blaxploitation film Macken, died Saturday on his birthday at his home in Los Angeles, according to his friends. He was 88 and no cause of death has been revealed.
“A statement from his PR team praised his character.” During Julien’s decades-long career, he was known for being brave, honest and straightforward. He wanted to live and speak his own truth both professionally and privately. He was considered a rare ‘man among men’.
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July’s role in Macken became a classic, excerpts of it often quoted in hip hop by, among others, stars such as Too Short, Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy and LL Cool J. In the film, Julien saw the role of “Goldie”, an ambitious young pimp from Oakland who stands over for corrupt officers and drug dealers after his release from prison. Richard Pryor plays his sidekick, which contributes to the film’s appeal.
Julien also had roles in The Black Klansman, Psych-Out, Uptight, Mod Squad, Getting Straight, and How to be a player, and also helped create the Cleopatra Jones franchise.
Comic book author and filmmaker David F. Walker praised his friend in an online post.
“I met Max back in 1996. He was an amazing person and we had so many amazing conversations. He was brilliant and funny and charismatic … RIP ”DFW’s caption accompanied an artistic rendition of Julien in his prime, depicting a classic scene from ‘TM’.
Producer Russell Simmons also mourned him.
“My dear friend and incredibly talented actor writer and spiritual guide has left his body. He was one of the most beloved people of all who knew him. He leaves behind his dear wife Annabella. rip big brother, you will be missed and I am sure God will receive you with open arms. “
Survivors include his wife, Arabella Chavers. No memorial plans have yet been detailed.
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