Lance Reddick, actor known for roles in 'The Wire' and 'John Wick,' dies at 60

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Saturday, March 18, 2023
'The Wire,' 'John Wick' actor Lance Reddick dies at 60
Two weeks before his death, Lance Reddick reflected on a career which included "John Wick" and "The Wire."

STUDIO CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Lance Reddick, the versatile actor known for his roles in the acclaimed TV series "The Wire" and the blockbuster "John Wick" movie franchise, died Friday, his representative said. He was 60.

Reddick "passed away suddenly this morning from natural causes," Mia Hansen of Portrait PR said, without providing additional details. "Lance will be greatly missed."

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 Det. 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."

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Reddick worked nearly nonstop in its aftermath, 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." He is set to appear in the fourth "John Wick" film, which will be released in theaters next weekend.

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

Donations in Reddick's memory can be made to in Baltimore, his hometown.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.