Baltimore-born actor Lance Reddick 'was a giant, and not just on the screen'

Mary Carole McCauley, Baltimore Sun on

Published in Entertainment News

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore-born actor Lance Reddick could converse knowledgeably about the difference between hiring a doula and a midwife for help during childbirth. In high school, he dropped out of football — a sport at which he excelled — because it might interfere with his dream of playing and composing classical piano. For years, he began his daily workout routine by completing 200 pushups and 100 situps, according to longtime friends.

“Lance was continually trying to become the best man he could be,” a childhood friend, James A. Lutz said. “He had that quality in high school. And he talked about it a few weeks ago in the last communication I had with him.”

Reddick had occasionally mentioned having underlying health problems, according to another friend, Quinn Stills. The 60-year-old actor collapsed in his Los Angeles backyard on March 17 while engaged in his daily early morning workout routine. His body was discovered by his wife, Stephanie.

Lutz and Stills saw aspects of their friend in the characters he portrayed: Lt. Cedric Daniels on “The Wire”; Charon, the hotel concierge who led a double life in the “John Wick” movies; Commander Zavala in the wildly popular "Destiny" video games: All were upright men with a strong moral backbones. They were multifaceted, intelligent and complex.

Baltimore viewers can watch Reddick in one of his defining roles this weekend. “John Wick: Chapter 4″ opened Friday in movie theaters nationwide.

“Lance was a Renaissance man,” said Stills, who met the 4-year-old future star in the late 1960s when both were enrolled in Miss Redmond’s Nursery School. They later attended The Wilkes School at Grace & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and finally Friends School of Baltimore.


“When I would turn on the TV and see him playing some tough detective, that was hilarious to me,” said Stills, now a Los Angeles investment adviser.

“This is a guy who was a voracious reader, a guy who performed two public concerts at an elite private school, a guy who was taking high-level calculus and eating it for breakfast. He was a giant, and not just on the screen.”

‘There were a lot of things he wanted to do’

Reddick was born June 7, 1962, as the youngest of two sons to Solomon Reddick, a public defender, and Dorothy Gee Reddick, a teacher. The family lived in a middle-class neighborhood in north Baltimore just east of Charles Street.


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