‘The Wire’ star Lance Reddick dies from natural causes at 60, publicist says

LOS ANGELES — « The Wire » star Lance Reddick, 60, died Friday, his publicist said.

Mia Hansen, the actor’s publicist, said Reddick « passed away suddenly » and that it was from « natural causes. » She did not provide further details.

« Lance will be greatly missed. Please respect his family’s privacy at this time, » Hansen said in a statement.

The Baltimore native was best known for his portrayal of a hometown police lieutenant, Cedric Daniels, in the acclaimed HBO drama « The Wire, » which ran from 2002 to 2008. He was also featured in the « John Wick » movie franchise.

His career started with small roles, including parts in the Denzel Washington movie « The Siege » in 1998, and on television’s « West Wing » in the late ’90s and into the early ’00s.

About the same time, HBO’s « Oz » showcased Reddick’s acting chops as he portrayed a Jamaican drug dealer who turned out to be an undercover police detective who had infiltrated the criminal underworld.

Reddick also had a recurring role on television’s « Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. »

But it was as the incorruptible Lt. Daniels that Riddick achieved stardom. His cop was calculating, fair and unafraid of a power structure that could work against public safety.

His defining moment came when the city’s mayor asked for more favorable crime data.

Reddick’s performance opened for him network television roles (« Lost, » « Fringe ») and big-screen hits (« White House Down »). He also starred in « Bosch. »

Most recently, Reddick starred as Charon in the John Wick movie franchise. The movie’s stars are in the midst of a press tour for « John Wick: Chapter 4 » ahead of its March 24 release.

On Friday, fellow « Wire » actor Wendell Pierce (Det. Bunk Moreland) tweeted, in part, « As talented a musician as he was an actor. The epitome of class. Godspeed my friend. You made your mark here. »

« Bosch » creator Michael Connelly tweeted, « More than being a key ingredient in the Bosch show, he was a wonderful person, friend and collaborator. He took a character who was paper-thin in the books and made Irvin Irving. »

Comedian and television writer Mike Drucker said Reddick’s voice « could cut through steel. » « This dude made every movie and show he was in better, » he tweeted.

Reddick’s parents were educators: His father taught high school English and social studies; his mother was a music instructor. He followed his mother’s passion, studying classical piano at the Quaker high school he attended before enrolling at the University of Rochester and then at the prestigious Eastman School of Music.

He didn’t finish, and his big-stage aspirations didn’t materialize.

Reddick tried acting and applied to Yale to study drama. He was accepted, a moment described in an official biography as a surprise. It helped to bring Reddick to the world after he scored an understudy role on the Broadway hit « Angels in America, » a Pulitzer Prize-winning production that starred Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, and Tony Award-winner Jeffrey Wright.

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

Dennis Romero contributed.

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