Clark Middleton, the actor, director and producer who starred The Blacklist, the reboot of Twin Peaks and Kill Bill Vol. 2, has died at the age of 63.
His wife Elissa confirmed that he died after contracting West Nile Virus.
“With heavy hearts we announce the passing of a life eminently worthy of celebration: Clark Tinsley Middleton, 63 – beloved actor, writer, director, teacher, hero, husband, beacon, friend,” she said in a statement.
“Clark transitioned on October 4th as a result of West Nile Virus, for which there is no known cure. Clark was a beautiful soul who spent a lifetime defying limits and advocating for people with disabilities.”
He began acting in New York in the early 80s, making his debut on Broadway with Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh, and wrote about growing up with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in his own one-man play Miracle Mile in 1997.
Later, he played forensics specialist Ellis in Law & Order, and also scored the recurring role as tracker Glen in NBC crime series The Blacklist.
Co-star Amir Arison called Middleton ‘a true gem’.
“No words. In shock. Beyond Devastating. This guy was a true gem,” he wrote.
The show’s writer Jon Bokenkamp added: “I’m heartbroken. Besides being a truly unique and gifted actor, Clark was simply an incredible guy in every way. He was a whip-smart film nut. He loved his work with a passion. And he was insanely generous of spirit … I know his entire family at The Blacklist is devastated by this news. Clark was one of the good ones, and we lost him way too soon.”
Middleton also worked with a host of A-list Hollywood directors, landing roles in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2, Bong Joon Ho's Snowpiercer, Sin City with Robert Rodriguez and Taking Woodstock with Ang Lee.
He also appeared in Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Oscar-winning Birdman, and then in David Lynch's revival season of Twin Peaks in 2017, he played Charlie, husband to Sherilyn Fenn's Audrey Horne.
As well as appearing on screen, Middleton also taught acting for more than 20 years, as a lifetime member of the revered Actors Studio.
Additional reporting by Ben Arnold.