American actor Lance Reddick, best known for his role in The Wire, has died aged 60.
A spokesperson said he “passed away suddenly this morning from natural causes”.
They added: “Lance will be greatly missed. Please respect his family’s privacy at this time.”
Reddick was best known for his role in the crime drama The Wire, which ran for five seasons between 2002 and 2008.
The show was set in Baltimore, Reddick’s hometown, and he played police lieutenant Cedric Daniels, who was agonisingly trapped in the messy politics of the Baltimore police department.
Reddick appeared in all 60 episodes alongside stars including Dominic West, Idris Elba, Wendell Pierce and Michael K Williams.
Pierce said Reddick’s death was “sudden, unexpected, sharp, painful grief for our artistic family” and praised him as a “man of great strength and grace” as well as being the “epitome of elegance”.
More recently, Reddick starred in the John Wick movie franchise alongside star Keanu Reeves. He played hotel concierge Charon in all four movies, with the last one due for UK release next week.
He was often put in a suit or a crisp uniform in his acting roles, playing tall, taciturn, and elegant men of distinction.
“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,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
Tributes have poured in on social media from friends and fans after news of his death, with filmmaker James Gunn calling Reddick “an incredibly nice guy, and an incredibly talented actor” in a tweet.
Actor Michael Warburton described him as a “hell of an actor”.
Screenwriter BJ Colangelo tweeted that Reddick “improved every single project just by being there”.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Reddick was a Yale University drama school graduate who enjoyed a taste of stardom after school by landing guest or recurring roles on CSI: Miami and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as appearing in several movies including The Siege and Great Expectations.
Among his upcoming projects include 20th Century’s remake of White Men Can’t Jump and Shirley – Netflix’s biopic of former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
In 2021, Reddick earned a SAG Award nomination for his role in Regina King’s film One Night in Miami.
It was also in 2021 that his co-star in The Wire, Michael K Williams, was found dead at the age of 54. New York City’s medical examiner later ruled he had died of acute drug intoxication.