Karen M. Ciernia is the second wife of Richard Roundtree, the legendary actor who played John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft and its sequels. She was married to him for 18 years, and had three children with him. But who is Karen M. Ciernia, and what happened to their relationship? Here is what we know about her:
- Karen M. Ciernia was born in 1955, and met Richard Roundtree in the late 1970s, when he was already a famous star. They fell in love and got married in September 1980, when he was 38 and she was 25 years old.
- Karen M. Ciernia supported her husband’s career as an actor, and moved with him to Los Angeles, where he continued to work in films and television. She also helped him cope with his personal issues, such as his alcoholism, drug addiction, and infidelity.
- Karen M. Ciernia and Richard Roundtree had three children together: Morgan, born in 1981, Kelli, born in 1983, and James, born in 1986. They raised their family in a luxurious mansion in Beverly Hills, and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. They attended events, vacations, and charity functions, and mingled with celebrities like Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, and Halle Berry.
- However, their marriage was not without challenges. According to Richard Roundtree’s autobiography, Voices of Black Men: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he revealed that he was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993, and had a double mastectomy. He said that he was “shocked” and “embarrassed” by his condition, and that he kept it a secret from everyone except his wife and his doctor.
- Karen M. Ciernia and Richard Roundtree divorced in 1998, after 18 years of marriage. They remained friends and co-parents to their children. Richard Roundtree later dated actress Cathy Lee Crosby for a while, before marrying Jessica Merritt in 2010. He had no more children with her.
- Karen M. Ciernia never remarried after her divorce from Richard Roundtree. She focused on raising her children and pursuing her own interests. She became a successful businesswoman and a philanthropist. She also supported her ex-husband when he died of pancreatic cancer on October 23, 2023.
- Karen M. Ciernia is now 68 years old, and lives in Los Angeles. She is proud of her children and grandchildren, who have followed their father’s footsteps in the entertainment industry. Morgan is a singer and a songwriter, Kelli is a dancer and a choreographer, and James is a rapper and a DJ.
Karen M. Ciernia is the second wife of Richard Roundtree, the original Shaft star who died at 81. She was his partner in life and love for almost two decades, and his friend for more than three decades. She is a remarkable woman who has lived a full and rich life.
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