American actor Lance Reddick gained recognition for his performances in popular TV series such as "The Wire" and "John Wick," he died at 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 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 were dedicating the upcoming film to Reddick and were "deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss."
Reddick was often put in a suit or a crisp uniform during his career, playing tall, taciturn, and elegant men of distinction. However, he was best known for his role as straight-laced 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.
"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.
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.
"The world of Wick would not be what it is without Lance Reddick and the unparalleled depth he brought to Charon's humanity and unflappable charisma. Lance leaves behind an indelible legacy and hugely impressive body of work, but we will remember him as our lovely, joyful friend and Concierge," Lionsgate said in a statement.
Reddick earned a SAG Award nomination in 2021 as part of the ensemble for Regina King's film "One Night in Miami." In addition, he played recurring roles on "Intelligence" and "American Horror Story" and was on the show "Bosch" for its seven-year run.
His upcoming projects include 20th Century's remake of "White Men Can't Jump" and "Shirley," Netflix's biopic of former congressional representative Shirley Chisholm. He was also slated to appear in the "John Wick" spinoff "Ballerina," as well as "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial."
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 "In 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 in 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 began HBO's reign on quality, edgy, artistic stuff. Stuff that harkens back to the 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 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." In "American Horror Story: Coven," he portrayed Papa Legba, the go-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 celebrity website TMZ.com.