Chicago Sun-Times

Star of ‘The Wire’ known for playing tall, taciturn, elegant men of distinctio­n


NEW YORK — Lance Reddick, a character actor who specialize­d in intense, icy and possibly sinister authority figures on TV and film, including “The Wire,” “Fringe” and the “John Wick” franchise, has died. He was 60.

Mr. 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, Mr. Reddick’s co-star on “The Wire” paid tribute on Twitter. “A man of great strength and grace,” he wrote. “As talented a musician as he was an actor. The epitome of class.” “John Wick — Chapter Four” director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves said they dedicating the upcoming film to Mr. Reddick and were “deeply saddened and heartbroke­n at the loss.”

Mr. Reddick was often put in a suit or a crisp uniform during his career, playing tall, taciturn and elegant men of distinctio­n. He was best known for his role as straightla­ced Lt. Cedric Daniels on the hit HBO series “The Wire,” where his character was agonizingl­y trapped in the messy politics of the Baltimore police department.

Mr. Reddick also starred on the Fox series “Fringe” as a special agent Phillip Broyles, the smartly dressed Matthew Abaddon on “Lost” and played the multi-skilled Continenta­l Hotel concierge Charon in Lionsgate’s “John Wick” movies, including the fourth in the series that releases later this month.

“I’m an artist at heart. I feel that 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 I wasn’t pretty, I knew I would have to work my butt off to be the best that I would be, and to be noticed,” Reddick told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.

The Baltimore-born-and-raised Reddick was a Yale University drama school graduate who enjoyed some success after school by landing guest or recurring roles “CSI: Miami” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” He also appeared in several movies, including “I Dreamed of Africa,” “The Siege” and “Great Expectatio­ns.”

It was on season four of “Oz,” playing a

doomed undercover officer sent to prison who becomes an addict, that Reddick had a career breakthrou­gh.

“I was never interested in television. I always saw it as a means to an end. Like so many actors, I was only interested in doing theater and film. But ‘Oz’ changed television. It was the beginning of HBO’s reign on quality, edgy, artistic stuff. Stuff that harkens back to great cinema of the ’60s and ’70s,” he told The Associated Press in 2011.

“When the opportunit­y for ‘Oz’ came up, I jumped. And when I read the pilot for ‘The Wire,’ as a guy that 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 he played piano. His first album, the jazzy “Contemplat­ions and Remembranc­es,” came out in 2011.

He had a recurring role as Jeffrey Tetazoo, director of the Central Intelligen­ce Agency, on the CBS series “Intelligen­ce.” On “American Horror Story: Coven,” he portrayed Papa Legba, the go-between between humanity and the spirit world.

Reddick is survived by his wife, Stephanie Reddick, and children, Yvonne Nicole Reddick and Christophe­r Reddick.

 ?? AP FILES ?? Lance Reddick appears at the 2013 premiere of “White House Down” in New York.
AP FILES Lance Reddick appears at the 2013 premiere of “White House Down” in New York.

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