The world lost perhaps one of its finest character actors when news broke of Lance Reddick‘s passing. Reddick was a presence in multiple beloved franchises, including the John Wick saga. In fact, he was promoting John Wick: Chapter 4 prior to his passing, and was also slated to reprise his role as the mysterious Charon in the Ballerina spinoff. Beyond that, Reddick left a vast array of roles that were tied together by two things. One was his trademark baritone. The other was the ability to completely and utterly command the screen, no matter the size of his role.
Reddick’s Talents Were First Glimpsed on HBO’s Prestige Dramas
Reddick first rose to prominence on the crime drama OZ, as undercover detective Johnny Basil. Basil went undercover to dismantle the drug trade in the titular prison. However, he ended up getting a little too deep into the role — eventually succumbing to heroin addiction and death at the hands of fellow former cop Clayton Hughes (Seth Gilliam). In contrast, his role as Cedric Daniels in The Wire was more composed and dignified. Daniels would even leave his position when asked to falsify reports, though he still served the law when he shifted to his role as a lawyer.
Not only did both roles let Reddick flex his dramatic chops, but they also served as the buildup to HBO’s current slate of programming. Oz and The Wire were among the prestige network’s first hour-long dramas, paving the way for hits like Game of Thrones and The Last of Us. And in the same vein as Reddick, those shows would feature supporting performances from character actors including Charles Dance and Nick Offerman. In his own way, Reddick was paving the road for the next decade of television.
Reddick Was a Dependable Presence in Genre Fare
However, most people will remember Reddick for his role as Charon. As the right-hand man to Winston (Ian McShane), Charon helped supply Keanu Reeves‘ titular protagonist with weapons and protection. He even offered to take care of John’s new dog! What makes Charon such an interesting character is the way that Reddick portrays him; the man is direct and to the point. Reddick delivered a similar blunt performance as Phillip Broyles in Fringe. Then again, when you’re dealing with otherworldly events and alternate universes, it helps to have someone with their head screwed on straight.
Reddick would also lend his voice to various video games and animated series, often playing characters in positions of authority. Perhaps his best known video game role is as Commander Zavala in the Destiny franchise. As the Vanguard of the Titans, Zavala supplied players with armor and weapons — and words of advice. To honor Reddick’s memory, players visited the Tower where Zavala was located, simply standing there or sharing their memories about his character.
Reddick Has Some Posthumous Work in the Wings
Prior to his passing, Reddick shifted to the dark side, voicing the dragon Thordak in The Legend of Vox Machina‘s second season. He also portrayed Albert Wesker in Netflix’s adaptation of Resident Evil, fleshing out the usually sinister Wesker’s backstory while hinting at his turn to darkness. His posthumous projects will include a role as the Greek god Zeus in the Disney+ adaptation of Percy Jackson & The Olympians, and voicing Hellboy in Hellboy: Web of Wyrd, continuing a comeback tour of sorts for Dark Horse’s infernal investigator. If his previous roles are anything to go by, Reddick will have given his all to both of these roles.