Melvin Van Peebles, the actor, writer and director who was dubbed as the Godfather of Black cinema by many, is dead at 89. We take a look at his children and family in this article.
Melvin was best known for directing, producing and starring in the groundbreaking 1971 film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. His work in the world of cinema and relentless efforts to tell authentic stories about the African-American community made him a legend.
Meet Melvin Van Pebbles children
While a lot is known about Melvin’s film career, he kept his personal life under wraps for the most part. However, we do know that he was a father of three.
Melvin’s eldest is famed Hollywood actor and director Mario Van Peebles. Mario was born when the Hollywood star lived in Mexico with his ex-wife Maria Marx, a well-known German actress.
Mario is popular in the movie business. The 64-year-old has starred in highly successful films like Exterminator 2 (1984), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Judgement Day (1999), Ali (2001), and most recently in Run The Race (2018).
Melvin and Maria had another son, Max Van Pebbles. Max followed in his parents and siblings’ footsteps and became an actor as well. He has starred in films like New Jack City (1991), Whip It (2009) and more.
All of Melvin’s children featured in his cultural hit, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971).
Mario Van Pebbles’ film collaborations with his father explored
Melvin and Mario’s major collab came when the latter was still a kid.
Mario played the role of young Sweetback in the movie Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, while Melvin played the older version.
The father-son duo teamed up again on the 1989 film Identity Crisis, which saw Melvin taking over the director’s seat, while Mario worked on scripting and starring as a rapper who is possessed by the soul of a dead fashion designer.
After realizing how far their creative collaboration can take them, Melvin and Mario worked together again for the 1993 film Posse. Once again, Melvin directed the film while Mario acted.
It’s not a bad choice for a father to start learning from his grown son and Melvin proved that. He adapted the script for Mario’s 1995 drama, Panther, from his own novel.
Fans mourn the ‘Sweet Sweetback’ star’s death
Many fans and cinema lovers took to Twitter to mourn the star’s death. Here are some notable reactions.