Lance Reddick, a prolific actor who gained fame playing a police commander on the Baltimore crime drama “The Wire” and later had distinguished roles within the “John Wick” movie franchise and the Amazon series “Bosch,” died on Friday. He was 60.
His death was confirmed by his publicist, Mia Hansen. She didn’t say where he died or cite a cause.
Mr. Reddick was having some success as a stage actor when, in 1996, he began landing small roles on “Latest York Undercover,” “The West Wing” and other television series, in addition to some TV movies.
Even then he was often playing law enforcement figures, and he could be doing so when his breakthrough got here in 2002: He was solid as Lt. Cedric Daniels, the principled head of the investigation unit, on “The Wire,” the sprawling HBO series that was praised for its realistic and infrequently downbeat depiction of policing, crime, education and other points of life in Baltimore.
The series ran for five seasons and is widely thought to be having brought a latest level of sophistication to police dramas and tv on the whole.
“Ever since ‘The Wire,’” Mr. Reddick told “The IMDB Show” in a video interview, “I’ve played quite a lot of intimidating authority figures that talk loads.”
On the Fox science fiction drama “Fringe,” which made its debut in 2008, he was Phillip Broyles, a Homeland Security agent. Within the crime drama “Bosch,” which ran from 2014 to 2021, he was a police official. Within the movie “White House Down” (2013), about an assault on the White House, he was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“Intensity isn’t something I attempt to do,” he told The Queensland Times of Australia in 2010. “It’s just form of the way in which that I’m.”
He got away from law-enforcement roles within the “John Wick” movies, the motion franchise that stars Keanu Reeves within the title role. He played Charon, a hotel manager, in all 4 movies, the primary of which was released in 2014. The most recent is being released this month.
In all those roles, and in others, Mr. Reddick was a particular, immediately recognizable presence, even when he was not quite a household name. His voice was distinctive, too, as players of Horizon Zero Dawn, Destiny 2 and other video games on which he might be heard know.
“Range is at all times what I’m striving for,” Mr. Reddick told The Los Angeles Times in 2019. “I never want anybody to say, ‘Oh, that is who he’s.’ Although the characters I play, even in all their diversity, are likely to be fairly intense. But they’re all very different guys.”
Starting in 2008 he was in a couple of episodes of the ABC series “Lost,” playing a personality named Matthew Abaddon. The show had a large following, and though the character wasn’t around long, Mr. Reddick said it boosted his visibility even greater than “The Wire” had.
“I used to be living in Latest York on the time, and it gave the look of everybody was stopping me to speak about ‘Lost,’” he told The Baltimore Sun in 2019. “I went from small, area of interest notoriety to being completely recognizable.”
Lance Solomon Reddick was born on June 7, 1962, in Baltimore. His mother taught instrumental music, and his father was an educator and later a public defender.
Mr. Reddick attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where he studied classical composition. He was a talented pianist and in 2010 released an album of his own works, “Contemplations & Remembrances.”
By the early Nineties Mr. Reddick was in Boston and exploring acting. He soon enrolled on the Yale School of Drama, where he received a master’s degree. He performed at Yale Repertory Theater with Liev Schreiber and other future stars.
“Once I went to drama school,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 2009, “I knew I used to be no less than as talented as other students, but because I used to be a Black man and I wasn’t pretty, I knew I’d need to work my butt off to be one of the best that I could be, and to be noticed.”
In 1995, at Manhattan Theater Club in Latest York, he appeared in “After-Play,” Anne Meara’s play about two couples who settle in for dinner after attending the theater; Mr. Reddick portrayed their mysterious waiter. The play had a protracted run in Latest York, and in 1997 he reprised the role on the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut.
By then his television work was starting to choose up, although he didn’t abandon the stage completely. In 2006 he was in Signature Theater Company’s Latest York revival of August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” putting his musical background to good use portraying a blues musician named Floyd.
“Floyd’s charisma and his anger are all of the more impressive for the quietness with which Mr. Reddick renders them,” Ben Brantley wrote in his review in The Latest York Times.
To arrange for his role in “The Wire,” Mr. Reddick told the Australian newspaper, he did a couple of ride-alongs with cops within the South Bronx.
“They were saying, ‘This section is OK, that section is bad,” he said. “What we were seeing was block and block and block of abandoned houses and drug addicts wandering around. It was almost surreal.”
Mr. Reddick was working on several projects at his death, including a new edition of “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.”
He’s survived by his wife, Stephanie Reddick; a daughter, Yvonne Nicole Reddick; and a son, Christopher Reddick.
In a 2010 interview with The Miami Herald, Mr. Reddick said the role that particularly stood out for him was certainly one of his smaller ones: a guest appearance on “Law & Order.”
“I played a military captain from Sierra Leone in 2001 before I used to be solid in ‘The Wire,’” he said, “and I needed to learn the Sierra Leone accent. To today, that’s my favorite character, the character I’m most pleased with.”
Kwame Opam and McKenna Oxenden contributed reporting.