My first encounter with Nunn goes back a year before he marched up and down a Brooklyn block with a huge boom-box drowning out the heat of summer's hottest day. I first "met" him as the jock who wanted sop ladies up with a biscuit in another Spike Lee joint, School Daze. Though that is widely accepted as Nunn's big screen debut, he did show up in a brief uncredited role in the 1981 Burt Reynolds vehicle Sharky's Machine. Lee would also put Nunn in Mo' Better Blues. In 1991, Nunn showed up in the 'hood classic New Jack City as the oh-so-politically incorrectly named Duh Duh Duh Man. The character has a severe stuttering problem. Nunn was not the star of any of these films, but always provided a memorable performance.
For the rest of his career, parts came steady enough for his filmography to grow to seventy-one acting credits, according to his IMDb page. They often weren't as meaty or important to the movies he was in, but he was always a welcome presence. Some of his highlights include playing Robbie Robertson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, the golden goose guarding Uncle Bubba in He Got Game, the wannabe entrepreneur in a made-for-TV remake of A Raisin in the Sun, along with a host of detectives and other authority figures. Most recently, he had a recurring role on the TV series Sirens. I enjoyed him in everything I've seen him in, but I can't shake the one indelible. mark he has made on my life. I see his face and say to myself, "there's Radio Raheem." If I were able to tell him that, I imagine he would smile and thank me for appreciating the work for which he was known best, but privately think I was selling short his entire career. I prefer to think of it as succumbing to one of the most powerful moments in cinematic history. Radio Raheem is gone, but he'll never be forgotten.