Sad news for fans of The Wire’s Proposition Joe. Robert F. Chew, who played the role on the HBO series for five seasons, has passed away at the age of 52. He was found dead in his Baltimore apartment yesterday, January 19th, and his death has been ruled to be of natural causes.

Chew’s career wasn’t a prolific one although it did span more than a decade. He started his acting career with a two-episode guest spot on Homicide: Life on the Street in 1997. He also appeared in a few films, including the 2004 TV movie Something The Lord Made alongside Alan Rickman and Mos Def. Most recently, he had a role in the yet-to-be released gang-centered film Jamesy Boy which stars Spencer Lofranco in the lead role as well as James Woods and Mary-Louise Parker. But it was without a doubt his role on The Wire for which Robert Chew was best known. Chew played the role of Joseph “Proposition Joe” Stewart in a recurring capacity from 2002 to 2008, appearing in 24 episodes. It is for this role that he will be remembered by television fans.

TMZ reports that the Baltimore coroner has rule his death to be the result of cardiovascular disease with morbid obesity as a contributing factor. Co-star Jamie Hector responded via Twitter to the news expressing disbelief and saying “Robert Chew will always be loved and missed.” Certainly fans of The Wire will feel the same way. May he rest in peace.

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