Remembering Lance Reddick, Who Made Every Project Better

The actor, known for "The Wire" and "John Wick," died Friday at the age of 60

The actor Lance Reddick, who died on March 17, 2023 at the age of 60
Lance Reddick in 2012.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Some actors can speak volumes using just a single word. Lance Reddick could reveal a complex set of emotions with only a look. The actor, who died on Friday at the age of 60, had prominent roles in a number of beloved television series, including — but not limited to — The Wire, Lost, Oz, Fringe and Bosch. Reddick also had a recurring role as the concierge Charon in the John Wick series of films, not to mention a host of other performances, both live-action and animated.

Reddick’s voice and physical presence made him an understandable choice to play authority figures, which made up many of his best-known roles. But he also thrived in the small details that could emerge from playing a character over the course of multiple episodes and multiple seasons.

There’s a moment in the third season of The Wire where it’s revealed that Reddick’s character, Cedric Daniels, has begun a relationship with one of the show’s other characters. Though it’s a context in which we’ve never seen Daniels before, Reddick seamlessly showed another side to a character he’d been playing for over two years at that point. It’s not showy acting — it’s decidedly the opposite — but it absolutely demonstrated his commitment to creating three-dimensional, lived-in characters.

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Most recently, he was nominated for an Emmy for “Lovecraft Country”

More than that, though, Reddick could also seamlessly match his performance to the material given. His work on The Wire showed him at his most naturalistic, while his performances in the John Wick franchise found him working in a more stylized register. (And there was his bizarre appearance on The Eric Andre Show, for which I have no words.) He did singular work, and he will be greatly missed.

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