Lance Reddick, star of ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick’ dies at age 60
NEW YORK (AP) — Lance Reddick, a character actor who specialized in intense, icy, and possibly sinister authority figures in TV and film, including “The Wire,” “Fringe,” and the “John Wick” franchise, has passed away. He was 60.
Reddick died “suddenly” Friday morning, his publicist Mia Hansen said in a statement, attributing his death to natural causes. No further details were provided.
Wendell Pierce, Reddick’s co-star in “The Wire,” paid tribute on Twitter. “A man of great strength and grace,” He wrote. “Equally talented musician as actor. The pinnacle of class.” “John Wick – Chapter Four” director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves said they dedicated the upcoming film to Reddick and were “deeply saddened and heartbroken by the loss.”
Often dressed in a suit or crisp uniform throughout his career, Reddick played tall, taciturn, and elegant men of distinction. He was best known for his role as straightforward Lieutenant Cedric Daniels on the hit HBO series ‘The Wire’ where his character was agonizingly caught up in the messy politics of the Baltimore Police Department.
“The Wire” creator David Simon praised Reddick on Twitter: “Consummate professional, dedicated collaborator, sweet and gentle man, loyal friend. I can go on, but no, I can’t go on. This is stupid. And much, much, much too soon.”
“I am an artist at heart. I feel like I’m very good at what I do. When I went to drama school I knew I was at least as talented as other students, but being a black male and not beautiful, I knew I would have to do my best to become the best I would like to be. being and being noticed,” Reddick told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
Reddick also starred in the Fox series “Fringe” as Special Agent Phillip Broyles, the smartly dressed Matthew Abaddon in “Lost” and played versatile Continental Hotel janitor Charon in Lionsgate’s “John Wick” films, including the fourth in the series which will be released later this month.
“The world of Wick wouldn’t be what it is without Lance Reddick and the unparalleled depth he brought to Charon’s humanity and imperturbable charisma. Lance leaves an indelible legacy and a hugely impressive body of work, but we will remember him as our dear, joyful friend and caretaker,” Lionsgate said in a statement.
Reddick earned a 2021 SAG Award nomination as part of the ensemble for Regina King’s film ‘One Night in Miami’. He played recurring roles on “Intelligence” and “American Horror Story” and was featured on the show “Bosch” for seven years.
His upcoming projects include the 20th Century remake of ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ and ‘Shirley’, the Netflix biopic of former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. He would also appear in the “John Wick” spin-off “Ballerina,” as well as “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.”
Born and raised in Baltimore, Reddick was a Yale University graduate of drama school and enjoyed some success after school, landing guest or recurring roles on “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”. He also appeared in several films including ‘I Dreamed of Africa’, ‘The Siege’ and ‘Great Expectations’.
It was in season four of “Oz”, playing a doomed undercover cop who was sent to prison and became an addict, that Reddick experienced a career breakthrough.
“I was never interested in television. I’ve always seen it as a means to an end. Like many actors, I was only interested in theater and film. But “Oz” changed television. It was the start of HBO’s reign over quality, edgy, artistic stuff. Things that go back to the great cinema of the ’60s and ’70s,” he told The Associated Press in 2011.
“When the opportunity for ‘Oz’ presented itself, I jumped. And when I read the pilot for “The Wire,” as a guy who never wanted to be on television, I realized I had to be on this show.
Reddick attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music, where he studied classical composition and played the piano. His first album, the jazzy ‘Contemplations and Remembrances’, was released in 2011.
He had a recurring role as Central Intelligence Agency Director Jeffrey Tetazoo on the CBS series ‘Intelligence’. In “American Horror Story: Coven,” he portrayed Papa Legba, the intermediary between humanity and the spirit world.
Reddick is survived by his wife, Stephanie Reddick, and children, Yvonne Nicole Reddick and Christopher Reddick.
His death was first reported by the famous website TMZ.com.
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