PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Family members, friends and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars came to Pittsburgh to remember actor Bill Nunn on Sunday.
The Pittsburgh native passed away last month after a long battle with cancer at the age of 63.
Those closest to him say his memory will live on forever.
A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. That was the theme of the celebration the life of Bill Nunn III.
Family, friends and celebrities attended to the August Wilson Center to share their stories about Nunn.
“Big loss, there was no other place I was going to be then here when i got the word when the service would be,” Spike Lee said.
Nunn died on Sept. 29, after a long battle with leukemia. He was a 1970 Schenley graduate, who earned a degree at Morehouse College in Atlanta. That’s where he met actor Samuel L. Jackson and producer-director Spike Lee.
“Bill was so easy-going. A lot of actors…drama, I’m not going to lie, but Bill, he was so cool, serene, nothing ever ruffled him,” Lee said.
Nunn made his film debut in 1988 with Lee in the movie “School Days.” In his honor, Lee wore the jewelry from the movie “Do the Right Thing,” worn by the mythical character, Radio Raheem.
Nunn appeared in up to 50 movies and television shows. But, Lee was always fascinated with Nunn’s history with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I loved him like a brother,” Art Rooney Jr. said.
Rooney and Nunn literally grew up together. Nunn’s father, Bill Nunn Jr. was a well-known scout for the team. Rooney talked about the time he and the young Nunn borrowed Joe Greene’s car while they were ball boys in training camp.
“The bad part was Joe never knew that until Bill told him just a few years ago. I thought Bill was never going to tell that story,” Rooney said.
After a long film career, Nunn returned to Pittsburgh hoping to share his passion for acting with young people through the Bill Nunn Theater Outreach Project.
George Watkins was his best friend for almost 60 years.
“His heart was a big as his stature, what can I say?” Watkins said.