SUPERFLY star RON O'NEAL has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.

His wife AUDREY says O'Neal died on Wednesday night (14JAN04) at Los Angeles' CEDARS SINAI MEDICAL CENTER.

O'Neal's stage performance in Joseph Papp's PUBLIC THEATRE production of NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY brought him to the attention of the producers of 1972's Superfly, which was a surprise hit leading the actor to reprise the role and take over directing chores in the sequel, 1973's SUPERFLY TNT.

He later played in such low-budget films as MERCENARY FIGHTERS in 1987 and UP AGAINST THE WALL in 1991, which he also directed.

O'Neal capped his career with a performance in 2002's ON THE EDGE.

19/01/2004 21:05