Renauld White dead at 80

Renauld White, an actor and trailblazing model whose career spanned decades, had died, according to his modelling agency. He was 80.

“We were so honored to have represented Renauld at Bella Agency New York over the past 10 years. He will be truly missed in the fashion world but not forgotten for all the trailblazing moments he accomplished,” Ray Volant, founder of Bella Agency, told CNN in a statement.

“Renauld’s passion and perseverance was an inspiration for many. He helped young models find their place in the industry. He was one of a kind.”

Designer Jeffrey Banks, a longtime friend of White’s, also confirmed the news to Women’s Wear Daily, saying that White died while in hospice care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

A cause of death was not provided.

Banks also wrote a tribute to White on his Instagram page, calling White “my dearest friend and work colleague.”

“I shall miss our talks and times together, but will always remember the barriers you broke in the fashion industry and the love you shared as a trusted friend,” Banks wrote.

CNN has reached out to Banks for comment.

White, who graced the covers of Essence, Ebony and others during his long career, became the first African-American male model and the second Black male model to appear on the cover of GQ in November 1979.

White has a few credits listed on his IMDb page, including his two-year stint on “The Guiding Light,” but an obituary posted to the Whigham Funeral Home website also refers to roles on “General Hospital” and
“One Life to Live.”

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White was born was born Feb. 1, 1944 to the late Maybelline Scott White and Robert White, Sr. in Newark, New Jersey, according to the obituary.

He graduated from Westside High School and lived in East Orange, New Jersey.

White died on June 26.

“His unique and captivating looks made him a favorite among photographers and designers alike,” the obituary states. “With his striking features and impeccable poise, he became an icon for aspiring models across the nation.”

Over the years, White walked the runways of fashion shows and appeared in campaigns for brands and designers like Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana and Donna Karan.

In addition to his television work, White appeared in several off-Broadway productions.

White is survived by family and had many relatives who “all cherish the times spent with him and will miss him very much.”

A funeral for White will be held on July 12 at Whigham Funeral Home in Newark.

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