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‘The Wire,’ ‘John Wick’ actor Lance Reddick dies at 60

  • March 18, 2023

“The Wire” and the “John Wick” movie franchise, died Friday. He was 60.

The actor died of natural causes Friday morning, his rep Mia Hansen said in a statement to USA TODAY Friday. 

“Lance will be greatly missed,” Hansen said.

Reddick was perhaps best known for his turn as respected police officer Cedric Daniels on Baltimore crime drama “The Wire.” The actor starred in all five seasons of the series as the lawyer-turned-lieutenant, leading the Baltimore Police Department’s narcotics team of detectives, including Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) and Kima Greggs (Sonja Sohn), in their work targeting local drug trafficker Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris).

Another major role of his came in the form of hotel concierge Charon of the Continental Hotel in the “John Wick” movies. Charon is close with his employer, Winston (Ian McShane), serving as his right-hand man.

“Theirs is a bond that transcends employer-employee and even friendship,” Reddick told News 18 in a story published Thursday.

In recent weeks, Reddick had been on a press tour for “John Wick: Chapter 4.” He was not in attendance at the red carpet premiere for the film earlier this week. 

Reddick tweeted as recently as Wednesday, sharing a video of his dogs barking, writing, “And the beat goes on…”

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Reddick, born June 7, 1962, was raised in Baltimore, Maryland, later attending the Yale School of Drama. The actor landed his first screen acting credit in 1996 on the television series “New York Undercover.” He went on to appear in several TV movies and shows throughout the ‘90s, including “The Nanny” and “The West Wing.”

It was on Season 4 of HBO’s “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 was the beginning of HBO’s reign on quality, edgy, artistic stuff. Stuff that harkens back to great cinema of the ’60s and ’70s,” he told The Associated Press in 2011.

Reddick’s Daniels climbed the ranks from lieutenant to major to colonel and eventually deputy commissioner of operations, constantly playing a balancing act with his career aspirations with his desire to do good police work amid competing political interests and budget cuts. 

Michael K. Williams, Reddick’s co-star on “The Wire” who played Omar Little on the series to critical acclaim, died on Sept. 6, 2021. At the time, Reddick called Williams “one of the kindest, gentlest, most genuine, giving and courageous souls I’ve ever met.”

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More recently, Reddick lent his voice to several animated series, including “The Legend of Vox Machina,” “Paradise PD” and “The Vindicators.”

He earned a SAG Award nomination in 2021 as part of the ensemble for Regina King’s film “One Night in Miami.” Reddick 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 Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. He was also slated to appear in the “John Wick” spinoff “Ballerina,” as well as “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.”

Reddick attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music, where he studied classical composition, and he played piano. His first album, the jazzy “Contemplations and Remembrances,” came out in 2011.

Reddick is survived by his wife, Stephanie Reddick, and his children, Yvonne Nicole Reddick and Christopher Reddick. Donations in his memory can be made to in Baltimore, his hometown.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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