Lance Reddick Biography

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Birth Name: Lance Reddick
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Born on Dec. 31, 1969 in Baltimore, MD, Reddick was the son of local public school educators; his mother was an instrumental music instructor and his father a high school English and Social Studies teacher. As a youth, Reddick attended the Friends School - a Quaker high school - where he studied classical piano and sang in the church choir. Although music was his primary focus, the future thespian acted for the first time in the 10th grade when he performed a monologue from Shakespeare's "Macbeth." And although something clicked for Reddick, at the time he considered it little more than a fun diversion; having no intentions of altering his plans to pursue music. After graduating high school he attended New York's University of Rochester for a year before beginning studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. When his interest shifted away from classical music to more pop-oriented material, Reddick left Eastman and struggled for a number of years to get a music career off the ground. Frustrated with his lack of progress, he turned to acting as a way to reinvigorate himself creatively, and on a lark, applied to Yale's drama program. Much to his surprise, Reddick was accepted and four years later, with a degree in hand he was cast as an understudy in the critically acclaimed theater production "Angels in America" (1994).

Soon, Reddick's towering stature and formidable presence were helping to land him small roles in projects such as "What the Deaf Man Heard" (CBS, 1997), "The Siege" (1998), and "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) - in which he was usually cast as a soldier or law enforcement officer. His big break came in 2001 when he was cast in the acclaimed prison drama "Oz" (HBO, 1997-2003) as Jamaican drug dealer Desmond Mobay - soon revealed to be Detective John Basil, an undercover officer sent to infiltrate Oz's narcotics ring. Basil's tragic story arc throughout the fourth season of the gritty series proved to be one of the more gut-wrenching and gained Reddick newfound admirers amongst audiences and producers. Simultaneously, he also picked up a recurring part on the police procedural spin-off "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). With each new role, Reddick demonstrated his versatility as an actor, imbuing characters with realism and intensity, whether they were working for the law or breaking it. Amidst his growing television work, Reddick also managed to snag supporting roles in the feature films "I Dreamed of Africa" (2000) and "Don't Say a Word" (2001).

"The Wire" (HBO, 2002-08), a groundbreaking show centered around Baltimore's drug scene and viewed through the prism of both the city's law enforcement and its drug dealers, was Reddick's next television venture. After initially auditioning for a different character and enduring repeated callbacks from the series' casting directors, he was finally rewarded for his determination when he was cast as Lieutenant Cedric Daniels. Over the course of five seasons, Reddick impressed critics with his portrayal of the dedicated, results-oriented cop who was not afraid to butt heads with the higher-ups. It was a game-changing role for the actor, who was transitioning from bit supporting player to recognizable face. In 2008, Reddick went from a well-regarded series to one of the biggest hit shows in TV history when he joined the cast of the enigmatic drama "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010) for its fourth and fifth seasons. Cast as the mysterious and manipulative Matthew Abaddon, he would become the third former "Oz" inmate - along with actors Harold Perrineau and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje - to join the landmark series.

Juggling an increasingly hectic schedule, he also managed to find time to appear in the independent drama "Tennessee" (2008) opposite Mariah Carey, in addition to joining the cast of the J.J. Abrams science fiction series "Fringe" (Fox, 2008- ). As Agent Phillip Broyles, head of the secret government-run "Fringe" task force, Reddick admirably handled the role of the outwardly appearing by-the-book Homeland Security agent who, nonetheless, was ready to bend the rules whenever bizarre circumstances merited it. Although the idiosyncratic show struggled with declining ratings since its premiere, it had also accumulated a loyal fan base dedicated enough to prompt the network to green light a fourth season in 2011.




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