robert chew*According to reports out of Baltimore, Robert F. Chew, who was best known for playing Proposition Joe on “The Wire,” was found dead Thursday in his apartment in Baltimore.

The Baltimore County coroner says he died of cardiovascular disease. “Morbid obesity” was listed as a contributing factor for Chew who had little to no acting experience before “The Wire.” He was part of the cast of the Baltimore based HBO show for five seasons.

“Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater community in Baltimore,” wrote David Simon, creator of ‘The Wire’ in an email to The Sun. “He could have gone to New York or Los Angeles and commanded a lot more work, but he loved the city as his home and chose to remain here working.  He understood so much about his craft that it was no surprise at all that we would go to him to coach our young actors in season four.  He was the conduit through which they internalized their remarkable performances.”

Chew’s funeral will be held in Baltimore on Thursday, January 24, at Calvin-Scruggs Funeral Home.

Read/learn more at the Baltimore Sun.