Robert Chew, beloved bad guy on The Wire, has died

Actor Robert Chew, who infused complicated humanity into the character Prop(osition) Joe on The Wire, has died.

Chew had strong ties to Baltimore, where he was born. His first love was music, which he studied at his hometown university, Morgan State.

HIs love for Baltimore translated into three high-profile roles that defined his career. In addition to Prop Joe, the verbally gassy, somewhat sympathetic drug dealer on The Wire, Chew also played Wilkie Collins, a drug supplier in the sixth season (1997-1998) of Homicide: Life on the Streets in a three-part episode, Blood Ties. He also brought to life a shoe salesman in the the TV mini-drama The Corner, based on the book, The corner : A year in the life of an inner-city neighborhood by David Simon and Ed Burns, writers and producers for both The Corner and The Wire.

Chew (52), who suffered from cardiovascular disease, died from a heart attack at his home in Baltimore.


How sad! I thoroughly enjoyed Chew's Baltimore characters on The Wire, Homicide, and The Corner. As a fan of David Simon's gritty work, I was always happy to see the same actors cross-over in the various shows as different characters. Good guy on one, bad guy on another. Prop Joe was one of my favorite characters in The Wire-- looking over his glasses, spinning wisdom, offering propositions as he tinkered with Omar's clock. Genius.

yo it's all in the game.