Best Lance Reddick Acting Roles of His Career

Lance Reddick's acting career is full of memorable performances that've left a mark on some of the most successful media franchises in the world.

by Drew Kopp
Image: KTLA

On March 17, 2023, acclaimed actor Lance Reddick passed away from natural causes. Known for his imposing figure and commanding voice, Reddick acted in numerous films, television shows, and video games, often playing stern authority figures. With heartfelt tributes from Reddick’s family, friends, and fans pouring in across social media, let’s look back on the highlights of his extraordinary career.

Lance Reddick’s Best Acting Roles

Johnny Basil (Oz)

Image: The Levinson/Fontana Company, Viacom Production, & Rysher Entertainment

While Reddick played minor roles throughout the 1990s, his appearance in the fourth season of the HBO drama Oz would prove to be his breakout role. Known to his fellow inmates as Desmond Mobay, Reddick’s character was secretly a detective named John Basil working to bust Oswald State Correctional Facility’s drug trade from within.

Introduced as a straight-and-narrow cop, Basil’s willingness to do anything to maintain his cover drives him to commit heinous crimes. By the time his identity is exposed, the once noble police officer has become a real criminal.

Cedric Daniels (The Wire)

Image: Blown Deadline Productions & HBO Entertainment

With his performance in Oz putting him on the map, Reddick soon landed his first starring role in HBO’s police procedural The Wire as Baltimore Police Department officer Cedric Daniels. While all of The Wire‘s lead actors and actresses delivered powerful performances, Reddick’s would go on to become the defining role of his career.

Throughout The Wire‘s five-season run, Reddick portrayed Daniels as an unstoppable force of justice. A beacon of integrity standing alone amidst the rampant corruption and incompetence of the B.P.D., Daniels was an honest cop willing to fight all forms of criminal conduct, whether it was day-to-day street violence or the misconduct of his fellow officers.

Philip Broyles – (Fringe)

Image: Bad Robot Productions & Warner Bros. Televisions

With one long-running series under this belt, Reddick once again found himself cast as a grim high-ranking official in Fox’s cult-classic science-fiction series Fringe. Here, Reddick played Phillip Broyles, the director of the titular Fringe Division, a secret department of the F.B.I. dedicated to investigating paranormal occurrences.

Carrying the same air of natural authority that would become Freddicks’ trademark, Director Boyles was a by-the-book boss who struggled to keep the agents under his command in check. Despite his cold exterior, Boyles cared deeply for the members of the Fringe Division, standing by their side as the events they investigated became more dangerous and bizarre.

Irvin Irving (Bosch)

Image: HBO Max

By the time Reddick was cast as Los Angeles Police Department Chief Irvin Irving in Amazon Studios’ Bosch, he’d already proven that he was made for the role of a no-nonsense superior. With his signature commanding charisma, Reddick was one of the best parts of this adaption of Michael Connely’s Henry Bosch novels.

Serving as a sort-of nemesis to Titus Welliver’s Detective Bosch, Irving’s frustration with Bosch’s maverick approach to crime fighting felt incredibly genuine. Although the announcement that Reddick would portray a traditionally-white character caused controversy, his chemistry with Welliver added a level of humanity that was otherwise absent from the series.

Commander Zavala (Destiny, Destiny 2)

Image: Bungie

The voice of Commander Zavala, the Titan Vanguard of the Tower, is one that Destiny players have come to know very well. In the near-decade Destiny, its sequel Destiny 2, and their various expansions have been online, Reddick served as the one-and-only voice of the stoic leader of the Titans, guiding players in their quest to defend the last bastion of humanity.

For longtime Destiny players, Zavala, and by extension Reddick, has been a part of their day-to-day lives for years. Since Reddick’s passing was announced, thousands of players have flocked to the Tower to pay their respects, proving how much Reddick’s performance as Zavala meant to the community.

Related: Destiny 2 Terminal Overload Rotation, Schedule, and Loot Table

Charon (John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, John Wick: Chapter 4)

Image: 87Eleven Entertainment, Lionsgate, and Summit Entertainment

The John Wick series is full of memorable characters brought to life by the performance of their actors and actresses, and Reddick’s Charon is one of the best. The well-mannered concierge of the Continental Hotel has been one of Keanu Reeve’s infamous assassin’s main allies since the first film, and his dedication has earned him the love of countless fans.

As Charon, Reddick was, in many ways, the calm eye of the storm of bloodshed that is the John Wick series, and his passing will surely be felt if the series continues past John Wick: Chapter 4. With Reeves personally dedicating John Wick: Chapter 4 to Reddick’s memory, his impact on the series won’t be forgotten.

Martin Hatch (Quantum Break)

Image: Remedy Entertainment

While most of Reddick’s previous roles cast him as a stern but ultimately well-meaning authority figure, his performance in Quantum Break showed how well he could play a villain. In this experimented science-fiction third-person shooter, Reddick provided the voice and motion-capture model for Martin Hatch, the C.E.O. of Monarch Solutions.

Serving as the second-in-command to Quantum Break‘s true main villain, Hatch is a ruthless figure who wields his wealth and authority as a deadly weapon against those who dare stand in his way. Able to go from calm and friendly to sinister and cold on a dime, Hatch is a terrifying threat that isn’t easy to forget or overcome.

Sylens (Horizon Zero Down, Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West)

Image: Guerrilla Games

Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel Horizon Forbidden West draw pretty clear lines between their heroes and villains, but the scientifically-minded Sylens has always been an exception. Serving as both an enemy and ally to Aloy, Sylens’ complexity as a character is matched only by the strength of Reddick’s performance.

Reddick’s voice work for Sylens perfectly captures the rogue scholar’s all-consuming thirst for knowledge and his willingness to do anything to achieve it. However, Reddick also highlighted the softer side of Sylen’s character, with his interactions with his estranged student Aloy showcasing how much the former outcast has come to mean to him.

Thordak (The Legend of Vox Machina)

Image: Critical Role Productions, Titmouse Inc., Amazon Studios

Few beings in the fantasy world of Exandria are more feared than Thordak, the Cinder King. So when the time came for The Legends of Vox Machina to adapt Critical Role‘s most famous story arc, it made sense to give the task of voicing the Chroma Conclave’s king to a voice actor as accomplished as Reddick.

Reddick poured every ounce of his acting talent into bringing the living calamity that is Thordak to life. Punctuating every word in Thordak’s surprisingly sophisticated vocabulary with an uncanny regality that reflects the Cinder King’s almost-majestic presence, Reddick’s voice was a perfect match for the draconic warlord who brought an entire continent to its knees.

- This article was updated on March 21st, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Sons of the Forest, Pokemon, and developments in the entertainment industry. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.