Roger E. Mosley, star of Magnum, P.I. and Leadbelly fame, was pronounced dead on Sunday (August 7) at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Mosley was 83.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ch-a Mosley, the late actor’s daughter, took to Facebook to announce her father’s passing. She revealed her father succumbed to his injuries from a car crash that occurred on Thursday (August 4) and explained that she wanted to take this time to celebrate her father.
“We could never mourn such an amazing man. He would HATE any crying done in his name. It is time to celebrate the legacy he left for us all,” Ch-a affectionately expressed on Facebook. “I love you daddy. You loved me too. My heart is heavy but I am strong. I will care for mommy, your love of almost 60 years. You raised me well, and she is in good hands. Rest easy.”
On Magnum, P.I, Mosley shined as Theodore “T.C.” Calvin, the talented helicopter pilot and close friend of Tom Selleck’s Thomas Magnum, throughout the show’s eight seasons. During his time on the show, the Los Angeles native fought to have TC represent the Black experience as he saw it and didn’t want to portray Hollywood’s token struggling Black character.
“They [the Magnum writers] keep writing for me to smoke and drink, but I won’t do it,” Roger expressed in a 1982 interview with Ebony. “I never get high, smoke, or drink on the show or in real life. That’s not what I want Black kids to see.”
The actor also shined on the big screen with memorable performances in Gordon Parks’ 1976 period drama Leadbelly. Mosley garnered acclaim for his portrayal of blues and folk singer Huddie Ledbetter with Roger Ebert calling his performance “one of the best biographies of a musician I’ve ever seen.”
Mosley played Coach Ricketts in the ’90s sitcom Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and appeared on other shows like Love Boat, Sanford and Son, Starsky and Hutch” and more.
VIBE sends our condolences to the family and friends of Roger E. Mosley. May he rest in peace.