Actor Keith Jefferson, who appeared in several Quentin Tarantino movies like Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and also worked often with his friend Jamie Foxx, has died. He was 53.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jefferson’s rep, Nicole St. John, confirmed the news. His passing comes months after he announced a cancer diagnosis.
“Every now and then God will give you a challenge and leave it up to you to fix it,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “When I was first diagnosed with cancer I had to stop, pause, and didn’t want to share with anyone. Not my family nor extended family. Today I’m finally at a place to share because my faith is getting stronger.”
Jefferson played Pudgy Ralph in Django, Charly in The Hateful Eight and Land Pirate Keith in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Jamie Foxx, who was close to the actor, paid tribute to him on social media.
“This one hurts. Keith, you’ve been nothing but absolute grace, your whole life your heart is pure your love is immeasurable you were an amazing soul. We will all miss you dearly. It’s gonna take a long time for this to heal. Goodbye, my friend. I love you,” he wrote on Instagram.
Foxx and Jefferson met in college in San Diego and started working together in the ’90s when Jefferson appeared on two episodes of The Jamie Foxx Show. Their most recent collaboration was on the Prime Video drama film, The Burial, which will be released on the streamer this fall.
Foxx opened up about Jefferson’s passing in another Instagram post, writing, “Everything hurts right now having a hard time looking through these pictures reliving the memories of us having a great time going to miss you man gonna miss you…every since we met back in college, you have been in incredible soul God rest, NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE TO SEE THE WORDS ABOUT MY FRIEND RIP @keith.jefferson Keith 💔💔💔💔”
In addition to acting, Jefferson was a producer, voiceover artist and acting coach. He’s credited in shows and movies like Relative Opposites, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!, You Too, Bosch: Legacy and Day Shift.
Jefferson also shared his acting talents with the stage. He was in touring and regional theater productions such as Big River, Othello, Superior Donuts and Piano Lesson.