ONTARIO, Canada – Jamaican actor and recording artist Louie Rankin, widely known for his roles in the cult classics “Shottas” and “Belly”, died in a car crash on September 30 in Ontario, Canada.
Authorities in Ontario say Rankin’s vehicle crashed with a transport truck on Highway 89, between Country Road 12 and the 4th Line. Rankin was pronounced dead at the scene, while the truck driver suffered no physical injuries.
All across the diaspora, people have paid tribute to the entertainer known as “the original Don Dada”.
The 66-year-old, whose birth name is Leonard Forbes, was born in St Thomas and spent most of his developing years in East Kingston. His rise to stardom came in the 1990s with the release of his huge hit single, Typewriter, which went on to win a Grammy in 1992.
He had a thriving acting career as was portrayed as a powerful Jamaican kingpin in the popular films Shottas (2004) and Belly (1998).
Hip-Hop artist Nas became close personal friends with Louie on the set of Belly, and the pair reunited years later for a cameo in a DJ Khaled music video for his song, “Nas Album Done.” Nas paid tribute to Rankin in an Instagram post, saying he was a legend and his presence “was super live wire”.
In 2014, he made an appearance in the film ‘We Run These Streets’.