“The Blacklist” and “Kill Bill, Vol. 2” actor Clark Middleton has died after contracting the West Nile virus. He was 63.
Middleton’s wife, Elissa, announced his death in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Middleton had lived with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since he was four years old. He told an interviewer once how the disease had distorted his hands, snapped his hip, and left him unable to move his neck. “But I never thought of myself as a victim, I always felt like a hero because I survived each bad time.”
Because of his illness, he was forced to miss several years of school. So, to make up for lost experiences, he signed up for acting classes in California. After relocating to New York in the early 1980s he worked in theatre, writing and starring in the one-man play Miracle Mile.
Middleton appeared in more than 40 movies and TV shows, including recurring roles on Law & Order and the 2017 Showtime revival of Twin Peaks. Among his most recent roles, he played DMV boss Glen Carter on The Blacklist, appearing in 13 episodes opposite James Spader.
The Blacklist writer, Jon Bokenkamp, expressed his sadness at Middleton’s passing.
“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,” he said in a statement.