Another bright light in the acting firmament has passed. Actor Craig ‘muMs’ Grant, best known for his work on Oz and in several Spike Lee productions and other TV and film roles, is dead at the age of 52.
Grant was also known as a spoken word poet, portraying Arnold ‘Poet’ Jackson, an incarcerated heroin addict on 49 episodes of the classic HBO show Oz, which ran on the network for six seasons from 1997-2003. He appeared in the Spike Lee movies Black KKKlansman and Bamboozled and was on Lee’s Netflix show, She’s Gotta Have it, among various other roles on shows including Def Poetry Slam, Luke Cage, Boston Legal, The Knick, The Sopranos, and Chappelle’s Show, among other credits.
Grant was in the middle of shooting in Wilmington, North Carolina, per The Hollywood Reporter, for the STARZ show Hightown and was slated for a recurring role on Tyler Perry‘s latest show, the male stripper drama All The Queen’s Men for BET+. He’d completed a role in No Sudden Move, a Steven Soderbergh film also starring Jon Hamm, Don Cheadle, and Benicio del Toro.
Per THR, the actor and poet died on Wednesday, according to his rep, Pam Ellis-Evenas of the Ellis Talent Group. No cause of death has yet been revealed.
“My brother from OZ, I spent too much time with this man onset. Too many amazing stories,” said fellow Oz actor Kirk Acevedo, who played Miguel Alvarez on the seminal HBO prison drama.
“An incredible poet.❤️ This is heartbreaking,” he added. “God Bless U my brotha. U will be missed.”
A New York City native, Grant came to the public eye via the 1998 documentary SlamNation. Then a part of the famed Nuyorican Poets Cafe, the documentary followed Grant and the group as they competed in the 1996 Poetry Slam.
His autobiographical one-man show A Sucker Emcee, staged with the LAByrinth Theater Company, of which he was a member, was potentially headed to New York’s Public Theater or the National Black Theater for outside stages this summer.
In a statement from the Ellis Group, they shared their grief at the unexpected loss.
“We are heartbroken over the loss of one of the most genuine, caring, loving souls we have ever had the pleasure of representing,” they said. “Craig was more than our client, he was our dear friend. We all just lost a phenomenal man.”
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