Lance Reddick, star of ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick’, has died at the age of 60
NEW YORK (AP) — Lance Reddick, a character actor who specializes in intense, icy, and potentially sinister authority figures in television and film, including The Wire, Fringe, and the John Wick franchise, has died. He was 60.
Reddick died “suddenly” on Friday morning, his publicist Mia Hansen said in a statement, attributing his death to natural causes.
Wendell Pierce, Reddick’s co-star on The Wire, paid tribute on Twitter. “A man of great strength and grace” he wrote. “As a talented musician as well as an actor. The epitome of class.” “John Wick: Chapter 4” director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves said they are dedicating the upcoming film to Reddick and are “deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss.”
Often donned in a suit or crisp uniform throughout his career, Reddick played tall, taciturn, and elegant men of rank. He was best known for his role as the straight forward Lt. Cedric Daniels on the hit HBO series The Wire, in which his character was torturously caught up in the chaotic politics of the Baltimore Police Department.
The Wire creator David Simon praised Reddick on twitter: “Perfect professional, devoted collaborator, kind and gentle man, loyal friend. Could go on, but no, I can’t go on. That sucks. And way, way, way 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 because I was a black man and not pretty, I knew I had to work my ass off to be the best I could be could be and be perceived,” Reddick told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
Reddick has also starred as special agent Phillip Broyles on Fox’s Fringe, the smartly dressed Matthew Abaddon in Lost and played the multi-talented Continental Hotel concierge Charon in Lionsgate’s John Wick films, including the fourth in the series , which will be released later this month.
“The world of Wick would not be what it is without Lance Reddick and the unprecedented depth he brought to Charon’s humanity and unwavering charisma. Lance leaves an indelible legacy and a most impressive body of work, but we will remember him as our lovable, cheerful friend and concierge,” Lionsgate said in a statement.
Reddick was nominated for a 2021 SAG Award as part of the cast for Regina King’s film One Night in Miami. He played recurring roles on “Intelligence” and “American Horror Story” and was on the show “Bosch” for seven years.
His upcoming projects include the 20th Century remake of White Men Can’t Jump and Shirley, Netflix’s biopic about former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. He would also appear in the John Wick spinoff Ballerina and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Reddick was a Yale University drama school graduate who found 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 the fourth season of “Oz,” where Reddick played a doomed undercover officer who’s been sent to prison and becomes an addict, that Reddick had a career breakthrough.
“I’ve never been interested in television. I’ve always seen it as a means to an end. Like so many actors, I was only interested in theater and film. But Oz changed television. It was the beginning of HBO’s reign of high-end, offbeat, artistic stuff. Stuff that goes back to the great cinema of the ’60s and ’70s,” he told The Associated Press in 2011.
“When the opportunity came up for ‘Oz’ I jumped. And when I read the pilot for ‘The Wire’, as a guy who never wanted to be on TV, 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. In 2011 his first album, the jazzy “Contemplations and Remembrances”, was released.
He had a recurring role as Jeffrey Tetazoo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 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 celebrity website TMZ.com.
Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press