THE WIRE's Robert F. Chew Dies at 52
Back to the Article
by TV News Desk
Robert F. Chew, known by many as "Proposition Joe" on HBO's THE WIRE, has died at age 52. Chew died in his sleep last night due to heart failure, his sister told The Baltimore Sun, today.
Chew appeard in all five seasons of the hit show, as "Joseph Stewart" the druglord.
Series creator David Simon told the Sun today via email:
"Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater Community in Baltimore," David Simon, creator of 'The Wire' said in an email Friday. "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."
Simon went on to say, "The Wire cast was an embarrassment of riches, and it was easy, I think, for outsiders to overlook some of those who were so essential as supporting players. 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."
Chew first appeared on HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET in 1997. He also appeared in HBO's SOMETHING THE LORD MADE, and will appear in JAMESY BOY, an upcoming film alongside Mary -Louise Parker.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chew also mentored children and young adults who were interested in acting. Twenty-two of his students went on to appear opposite him in THE WIRE.
Chew's service will be held next Thursday in Baltimore, MD.