A Well-known Director, Actor as well as a Writer-Melvin Van Peebles Died at 89.
Peebles was an actor, filmmaker, playwright, novelist, and composer from the United States. He was best known for co-writing and starring in the film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Mario Van Peebles, an actor, and director was his son.
Melvin Van Peebles, the groundbreaking playwright, musician, and film director whose work ushered in the 1970s’ “Blaxploitation” wave and influenced filmmakers for decades, has died. He was 89 years old when he died.
Van Peebles, the father of actor-director Mario Van Peebles, died Tuesday evening at his home in Manhattan, according to his family.
“Dad knew that Black images matter. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what was a movie worth? We want to be the success we see, thus we need to see ourselves being free,” Mario Van Peebles said of his father’s work in his statement. “True liberation did not mean imitating the colonizer’s mentality. It meant appreciating the power, beauty and interconnectivity of all people.”
Melvin Van Peebles’ numerous film credits include “Watermelon Man” and “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.”
He was also a successful author, playwright, and supporter of indie filmmakers.
In a joint statement, his son, The Criterion Collection, and Janus Films praised his contributions to the arts.
“In an unparalleled career distinguished by relentless innovation, boundless curiosity and spiritual empathy, Melvin Van Peebles made an indelible mark on the international cultural landscape through his films, novels, plays and music,” the statement read.
“His work continues to be essential and is being celebrated at the New York Film Festival this weekend with a 50th anniversary screening of his landmark film ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’; a Criterion Collection box set, ‘Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films,’ next week; and a revival of his play ‘Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death,’ slated for a return to Broadway next year.”
Jenkins expressed himself in a tweet. “He just absolutely LIVED,” says the narrator.
“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins shared a memory of the last time the two filmmakers were together.
“He made the most of every second, of EVERY single damn frame and admittedly, while the last time I spent any time with him was MANY years ago, it was a night in which he absolutely danced his face off,”
Married Life of Melvin Van Peebles
Maria Marx was Melvin Van Peebles’ wife. He painted portraits while the couple lived in Mexico in the late 1950s. Mario Van Peebles, the couple’s son, was born in Mexico while they were living there. Mario, Melvin’s son, works professionally as an actor and director. Chitra Sukha Van Peebles is Melvin Van Peebles’ daughter-in-law, not his wife. Mario Van Peebles is married to Chitra Sukhu.
Despite his reputation for following a lot of women and having previously married, she was married to actor Mario Van Peebles. She married Mario in a secret ceremony after Mario’s divorce from his first wife, Lisa Vitello. The couple had been married for a long time. Chitra is responsible for all five of their children, as they have three together and Mario has two from a previous relationship.
Estimated Net Worth of Melvin Van Peebles at the Time of Death
Melvin Van Peebles had a net worth of $3 million dollars at the time of his death.
He was an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, composer, and novelist. Melvin is best known for his work on the film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song.