Director Spike Lee has paid tribute to Do The Right Thing actor Bill Nunn, who has died aged 62.

Bill starred in the Oscar-nominated 1989 film as Radio Raheem, who dies when choked by police during a street brawl in Brooklyn.

Spike Lee paid tribute to Bill Nunn (Evan Agostini/AP)

In a hearfelt post on Instagram, Spike said Bill died in his home town of Pittsburgh and described him as a “great actor” and “dear friend”.

Alongside a photo of Bill, Spike wrote: “Long live Bill Nunn. Radio Raheem is now resting in power.”

My Dear Friend, My Dear Morehouse Brother- Da Great Actor Bill Nunn As Most Of You Know Him As Radio Raheem Passed Away This Morning In His Hometown Of Pittsburgh. Long Live Bill NUNN. RADIO RAHEEM Is Now RESTING IN POWER. RADIO RAHEEM WILL ALWAYS BE FIGHTING DA POWERS DAT BE. MAY GOD WATCH OVER BILL NUNN.

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

Bill appeared in Spike’s first film School Daze before landing his most famous role in Do The Right Thing.

He went on to appear in dozens of films and TV shows including New Jack City and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

An Original Poem By Lemon Andersen …And than there was Radio Raheem, Flat top, tight fade, Built like an '89 NY Giant, The Majestic Brother you could hear two blocks away in any direction pumping Public Enemy from the horns of his Ghetto Blaster, the Conscience brother who wanted nothing but to be alone and live in the loud solace of his Radio… A Young, Black, Beautiful Man who died in the hands of Blue Fear and White Fury. People walked across the street when Radio Raheem came down the Block, the Starch in his frame scared them away from the Gap in his smile. The four fingered rings were seen like Brass knuckles when if you stopped him like Mookie did as the sun set On that Hot summer day in BK, Brooklyn You would see Raheems hands like his mind were worth its weight in Gold.

A photo posted by Spike Lee (@officialspikelee) on

Bill’s wife, Donna, confirmed he died on Saturday after battling cancer.

Bill was the son of a prominent scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers, also named Bill Nunn, and befriended future Steelers president Art Rooney II while both worked as ballboys for the NFL team.