"The Wire" star Robert F. Chew died on Thursday at the age of 52 as a result of cardiovascular disease. The heavyweight actor passed away in his sleep at his home in Baltimore, Maryland.
He was virtually an unknown actor before landing the role as drug kingpin Proposition Joe on the hit HBO drama in 2002. He starred in all five seasons of the series, which was set in Baltimore.
Chew also appeared in "The Corner" and "Homicide: Life on the Street" and HBO film "Something the Lord Made."
"The Wire" co-star Jamie Hector Tweeted on Friday: "I didn't want to believe this #RIP Robert F Chew, Prop Joe will always be remembered."
"The Wire" creator David Simon, issued the following statement: "Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater community in Baltimore.
"He could have gone to New York or Los Angeles and commanded a lot more work, but he loved the city as his home and chose to remain here working. He understood so much about his craft that it was no surprise at all that we would go to him to coach our young actors in season four. He was the conduit through which they internalized their remarkable performances."
He added, "Robert's depiction of Proposition Joe was so fixed and complete - from the very earliest scenes - that the writers took for granted that anything we sent him would be finely executed...And apart from that, he was a fine and generous man."