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Lance Reddick, star of ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick,’ dead at 60

<i>Danny Moloshok/Reuters</i><br/>Lance Reddick
REUTERS
Danny Moloshok/Reuters
Lance Reddick

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Lance Reddick, an actor known for his performance as Cedric Daniels on “The Wire” and for his work in the “John Wick” franchise, has died, according to his representative, Mia Hansen.

He was 60.

Hansen said Reddick passed away suddenly on Friday morning “from natural causes.”

“Lance will be greatly missed,” she said.

Reddick, an actor whose captivating presence often landed him in roles that required intensity and gravitas, began his career in the ’90s, with credits in shows like “New York Undercover” and “The West Wing.”

As a teenager growing up in Baltimore, he had intended to become a musician, he once told The Guardian. He fell into acting as a means of supporting his young family and in hopes of laying a base for a music career.

He began earning roles in regional theater and at 29, he applied— and was accepted — to Yale University to study drama, eventually graduating.

In New York, he first auditioned for “Wire” creator David Simon for his project “The Corner,” an HBO miniseries that came two years before Simon’s “The Wire.”

While Reddick was not in that project, he did go on to book his first regular role was on HBO’s “Oz,” where he played an undercover detective posing as an inmate.

Eventually, Simon cast him as Narcotics Unit Lt. Daniels, a breakout role for Reddick.

Although “The Wire” was never a huge hit, its acclaim among critics and within the industry was sky high.

“I thought it would be a hit but I didn’t anticipate that it would take so long to catch on, or that it would become this phenomenon,” Reddick told the Guardian. “Or that it would be so ignored by the industry. That really floored me, because I knew how good we were; we all did.”

His “Wire” co-star Wendell Pierce remembered Reddick as a “man of great strength and grace” in a tribute on Friday.

“As talented a musician as he was an actor,” Pierce wrote. “The epitome of class. A sudden unexpected sharp painful grief for our artistic family. An unimaginable suffering for his personal family and loved ones. Godspeed my friend. You made your mark here.”

Reddick added numerous credits to his name after “The Wire,” with a memorable part on “Lost” and regular roles in the Fox sci-fi series “Fringe,” Amazon’s “Bosch” and, more recently, Netflix’s version of “Resident Evil.”

Reddick told the Los Angeles Times in 2019 that his “Lost” character was supposed to become a series regular but plans changed when he booked a regular part on “Fringe.” Though, he said, even his short run on one of the biggest shows on television at the time introduced him to a new kind of fame.

“That was the first time fans were really weird. I was living in New York at the time, and it seemed like everybody was stopping me to talk about ‘Lost.’ I went from small, niche notoriety to being completely recognizable,” he said.

In addition to the “John Wick” films his supporting work in movies included “One Night in Miami,” “Godzilla vs. Kong” and the upcoming remake “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Despite his trademark intensity, Reddick also showed off a lighter side, guest starring in the sitcom “Young Sheldon” and the sketch show “Key and Peele.”

Reddick was also the voice of Commander Zavala in Bungie’s Destiny and Destiny 2 video games — the latter of which saw a new expansion released in late February. He was one of a handful of voice actors in the game, serving as the voice of Destiny’s vanguard since 2014.

Reddick stars in the fourth “John Wick” film, which will be released in theaters next weekend.

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick,” Chad Stahelski, the director of “John Wick: Chapter Four,” and Reddick’s co-star, Keanu Reeves, said in a joint statement to Deadline. “He was the consummate professional and a joy to work with. Our love and prayers are with his wife Stephanie, his children, family and friends. We dedicate the film to his loving memory. We will miss him dearly.”

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

Donations in his memory can be made to momcares.org in Baltimore, according to his representative.

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CNN’s Angela Fritz contributed to this report.

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