Greenlee co-wrote (with Mel Clay) the screenplay for the 1973 film The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which he also co-produced with director Ivan Dixon and which is considered "one of the more memorable and impassioned films that came out around the beginning of the notoriously polarizing blaxploitation era. In 2011, an independent documentary entitled Infiltrating Hollywood: The Rise and Fall of the Spook Who Sat by the Door was filmed by Christine Acham and Clifford Ward, about the making and reception of the Spook film,[in which Greenlee spoke out about the suppression of the film soon after its release.In a chance meeting with Aubrey Lewis (1935–2001), one of the first Black FBI agents to have been recruited in 1962 by the FBI,Greenlee was told that The Spook Who Sat by the Door was required reading at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.the story of a black man who is recruited as a CIA agent and having mastered the skills of a spy then uses them to lead a black guerrilla movement in the US
On May 19, 2014, Greenlee died in Chicago at the age of 83. On June 6, 2014, attended by his daughter Natiki Montano.
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