The veteran actor who played Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's epic film, "Malcolm X," has died. Albert Freeman Jr. was 78.

Howard University in Washington, D.C., confirmed his death Friday night but details weren't immediately available. Freeman taught acting there for years and served as chairman and artistic director of its theater arts department.

Freeman earned an NAACP Image Award for playing Malcolm X's mentor in Lee's 1992 film.

He also received an Emmy nomination for his role as Malcolm X in the 1979 miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations." He won a best-actor Daytime Emmy that year for his work as Capt. Ed Hall on "One Life to Live."