Fans of the hit HBO show “The Wire” and the high-octane action movies “John Wick” are saddened by the passing of its stars. Lance Reddick, a veteran character actor known for his performance as Cedric Daniels on “The Wire” and for his work in the “John Wick” franchise, passed away of natural causes at the age of 60, according to his representative, Mia Hansen.
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.”
“Shocked!! Speechless!! This talented, kind, intelligent King is gone!! I was blessed to have worked with you and blessed to have known you,” actress Viola Davis wrote in a tribute on Instagram. “Praying for comfort for your family and loved ones! Rest well Lance Reddick…..see you on the other side.”
Reddick was often put in a suit or a crisp uniform during his career, 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,” Reddick told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.
Reddick also starred on the Fox series “Fringe” as a special agent Phillip Broyles, the smartly-dressed Matthew Abaddon on “Lost”.
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.”
After being asked about his role on the critically-acclaimed “The Wire,” Reddick admits he had no idea that it would be that well-received.
“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.”
He went on to book his first regular role on HBO’s “Oz,” where he played an undercover detective posing as an inmate.
Reddick’s John Wick co-star, Keanu Reeves, issued a statement to share his shock with his fans.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick,” Reeves, 58, and director Chad Stahelski said in a joint statement to Variety.
“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.”
The duo said they will dedicate John Wick: Chapter 4, which is set to be released in cinemas on March 23, to Reddick’s “loving memory”.
“We will miss him dearly,” they said, Page Six reports.