When Lance Reddick unexpectedly died at the age of 60 on Friday morning, the world lost one of its most consistently excellent film and television stars. The fact that his passing came just days before he was set to return to the big screen in the highly anticipated “John Wick: Chapter 4” only added to the sense of tragedy. But while his acting career was cut short, Reddick left behind an incredible body of work that is always worth revisiting.
To many TV fans, Reddick will always be remembered Cedric Daniels from “The Wire.” In a career-defining performance, Reddick portrayed one of the few voices of principled morality on a show that relished every opportunity to reveal how corruptible everyone in Baltimore seemed to be. As a police officer rising through the ranks despite his steadfast refusal to advance his career through shady dealmaking, he served as a control group that made everyone else’s corruption all the more striking. As David Simon’s sprawling masterpiece shifted its focus to a different part of Baltimore with each season, Reddick was one of the constants that allowed it to anchor itself in an overarching narrative.
But Reddick’s filmography encompasses so much more than just “The Wire.” Over the course of his decade spanning career, Reddick alternated between film and television roles with ease, making a large impact on almost every project he appeared in. His post-“Wire” work saw Reddick appearing in everything from network procedurals and prestige cable dramas to niche independent films and massive blockbusters. From small-but-pivotal roles on “Oz” and “Lost” to his late-career success in “Corporate,” “Resident Evil,” and the “John Wick” franchise, Reddick brought his charm and famously meticulous work ethic to everything he touched. The actor was a consistently welcome presence on our screens up until his final days.
As Reddick’s Hollywood peers — and film and TV fans around the world — mourn his passing, we gathered the best roles from his 25-year career. This list isn’t all-encompassing, but it includes the performances that best capture Reddick’s essence as a performer.
With editorial contributions from Steve Greene and Sarah Shachat.