South African actor and playwright Winston Ntshona has died at the age of 77. 

News of the legendary actor's death broke on Thursday, with fans and friends paying tribute to the icon on Twitter.

"It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of one of SA's prolific actors and playwright - Winston Ntshona born 6 October 1941 in Port Elizabeth. Rest in peace fellow thespian and thank you for your contribution to the arts," a post from the SA State theatre reads. 

Ntshona is perhaps best known for his role in Athol Fugard's The Island in which he starred alongside fellow actor John Kani. In an unusual move, both Kani and Ntshona were co-Tony Award winners for Best Actor in a Play for their work. 

Ntshona also walked away with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting at the 2011 SAFTAS.