Friday 17 March 2023

RIP Lance Reddick

In shocking news, it has been announced that actor Lance Reddick has passed away at the too-young age of 60. The actor was known for his contributions to a multitude of major TV shows, including The Wire, Fringe, Lost and Bosch, as well as the John Wick movie franchise and the Horizon and Destiny video game series.

Reddick was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1962. His first love was music, and he pursued a musical academic career. He switched to acting in the early 1990s and attended the Yale School of Drama. He started being cast in minor roles in both film and on TV in the mid-1990s and achieved his first breakthrough roles for HBO, by playing Johnny Basil on prison drama Oz (2000-01) and Marvin in The Corner (2001), based on David Simon and Ed Burns's book about the Baltimore drugs trade.

A year later Reddick re-teamed with Simon and Burns for The Wire (2002-08), often cited as the greatest TV show of all time. He was cast in the key role of Cedric Daniels, a promising police officer whose career had been thrown into jeopardy by suspected wrongdoing in a unit he was part of, although he managed to avoid direct punishment. Throughout the series Daniels is torn between playing the career game - which requires politicking, turning a blind eye to some things and knowing the right people - and listening to his conscience and backing his subordinates (particularly wild card Jimmy McNulty) to actually do some good in defeating the criminal gangs in the city. In the series finale, he is unable to square the circle any more and retires from the police force to pursue a career as a criminal defence lawyer. Reddick appeared in more episodes of The Wire than any other actor (58 out of 60 episodes).

His appearance in the critically-feted The Wire made him an in-demand actor and he cropped up in numerous American TV shows of the 2000s and 2010s, usually whenever a serious, authoritative figure was required. As well as numerous guest roles, he co-headlined the reality-hopping thriller series Fringe (2008-13), playing the role of Phillip Broyles across all five seasons. He also had a recurring role on Lost, playing the enigmatic Matthew Abaddon in four episodes in 2008 and 2009.

After Fringe's conclusion, he was cast as Deputy Chief Irvin Irving on Bosch (2014-21), appearing in all seven seasons. He did not return for spin-off/sequel series Bosch: Legacy, which started in 2022. He was also a regular on sitcom Corporate from 2018 to 2019, and voiced the antagonist Thordak in the second season of The Legend of Vox Machina. He also played Albert Wesker in the Resident Evil TV series from Netflix.

In film he mostly played in supporting roles, but won over new fans by playing the role of Charon in all four John Wick movies.

Reddick also built up a cult following with his popular video game roles. He played Commander Zavala in every installment of the Destiny franchise, and both voiced and provided the appearance for semi-antagonist/sometimes-ally Sylens in both Horizon Zero Dawn (2017) and Horizon Forbidden West (2022). He also played Martin Hatch in Quantum Break (2016), which combined live-action TV material with a video game.

Reddick was a prolific performer, and had numerous projects in the can at the time of his passing. He will be seen in the upcoming White Men Can't Jump remake and John Wick spin-off Ballerina, as well as the Disney+ Percy Jackson and the Olympians TV series. Reddick had also recorded both voice and motion capture the expansion Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores, due out next month.

According to early reports, Lance Reddick passed away of natural causes.

A highly talented actor with tremendous screen presence and gravitas, whose serious screen roles sometimes belied the actor's sense of humour (more readily expressed on his social media channels), Lance Reddick will be very much missed, and has gone far too soon.

No comments: