Lance Reddick, well known for his role as Cedric Daniels on “The Wire” and his work in the “John Wick” trilogy, has died, according to his publicist, Mia Hansen He was 60.
Reddick died unexpectedly on Friday morning “from natural causes,” according to Hansen. “Lance will be deeply missed,” she said.
Reddick began his career in the 1990s, with credits on shows including “New York Undercover” and “The West Wing.”
His magnetic presence typically landed him in roles that demanded intensity and seriousness. He had planned to be a musician as a boy growing up in Baltimore, he previously told The Guardian.
He began acting to support his young family and to establish a foundation for a music career. He began his career in regional theatre and, at the age of 29, applied to — and was accepted to — Yale University to study drama, finally graduating.
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He first auditioned in New York for “Wire” creator David Simon’s project “The Corner,” an HBO miniseries that aired two years before Simon’s “The Wire.”
While Reddick was not cast in that project, he did land his first regular part on HBO’s “Oz,” playing an undercover cop posing as an inmate. Simon eventually cast him as Narcotics Unit Lt. Daniels, giving Reddick his breakthrough role.
Although “The Wire” was never a great hit, it received widespread praise from reviewers and industry insiders. “I expected it to be a smash, but I didn’t expect it to take so long to catch on, or that it would become such a phenomenon,” Reddick told the Guardian.
“Or that the industry would be so dismissive of it. That astounded me since I knew how good we were; we all were.” Reddick’s “Wire” co-star Wendall Pierce remembered him as a “guy of incredible strength and elegance” in a memorial on Friday.
“As gifted a musician as an actor,” Pierce wrote. “The peak of elegance. Our artistic family has experienced a sudden, unexpected, and heartbreaking loss. Unimaginable agony for his own family and loved ones. Best wishes, my friend. You left your imprint here.”
After “The Wire,” Reddick added a notable performance on “Lost,” as well as regular roles in the Fox sci-fi series “Fringe,” Amazon’s “Bosch,” and, most recently, Netflix’s version of “Resident Evil.”
In 2019, Reddick told the Los Angeles Times that his “Lost” character was planned to become a series regular, but plans changed when he landed a regular role on “Fringe.”
Even his brief stint on one of television’s top shows at the time, he claims, introduced him to a new kind of celebrity. “That was the first time supporters acted strangely.
I was in New York at the time, and it felt like everyone wanted to talk about ‘Lost.’
“I went from having a small, specialized following to being instantly identifiable,” he explained. In addition to the “John Wick” flicks, he has appeared as a supporting actor in “One Night in Miami,” “Godzilla vs. Kong,” and the upcoming remake “White Guys Can’t Jump.”
Despite his usual intensity, Reddick also demonstrated a lighter side by appearing as a guest star on the comedy “Young Sheldon” and the sketch show “Key and Peele.”
Reddick also provided the voice of Commander Zavala in Bungie’s Destiny and Destiny 2 video games, with the latter receiving a new update in late February. He was one of the game’s few voice performers, providing the voice of Destiny’s vanguard since 2014.
The fourth “John Wick” picture, starring Reddick, will be released in theatres next weekend. “We are extremely devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our cherished friend and colleague Lance Reddick,” director Chad Stahelski and Reddick’s co-star Keanu Reeves wrote in a joint statement to Deadline.
“He was a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with. His wife Stephanie, children, family, and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. We dedicate this film to his cherished memory. We’ll miss him terribly.”
Reddick is survived by his wife Stephanie Reddick, as well as his children Yvonne Nicole Reddick and Christopher Reddick.
According to his representative, donations in his memory can be directed to momcares.org in Baltimore.