He Will Be Missed: ‘The Wire’ Actor Robert Chew Dead At Age 52

January 19, 2013  |  



Fans of The Wire are undoubtedly sad about this.

Actor Robert Chew, best known for his role as Proposition Joe (or Prop Joe, for short), was found dead in his Baltimore home on Thursday, according to The Baltimore Sun. He was 52 years old.

His sister Clarice told the newspaper he died of heart failure.

As word quickly spread of his passing, former cast members of The Wire extended their condolences. Actor Michael K. Williams, who played Omar in the series, tweeted, “RIP to the talented Mr. Robert Chew.

Actor Jamie Hector tweeted, “I don’t want to believe this #RIP Robert F. Chew. Prop Joe will always be remembered Robert Chew will always be loved and missed.” Fans of the show will remember that Hector’s character Marlo Stanfield was responsible for the death of Prop Joe on The Wire.

Creator David Simon sang Chew’s praises, saying:

“Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater community in Baltimore.  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. And apart from that, he was a fine and generous man.”

Born and raised in Baltimore, Chew was a teacher and mentor at Baltimore’s Arena Players. He was responsible for having the series hire 22 young actors for season four of The Wire, which was known for its focus on the Baltimore school system.

Chew was not married and had no children. He is survived by his mother and three sisters.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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  • LolaKayS

    I love the The Wire and everyone who was a part of it, in tears right now, Rest Peacefully Robert Chew (Prop Joe)!!!

  • Natasha T

    Loved him on The Wire, so sad that a talent like him is no longer with us. RIP Mr. Chew

  • IllyPhilly

    I read so much about him and he was the man. RIP

  • Sevn

    One of my favorite shows of all time. Even though I haven’t seen him since the show went off air, still shocking to hear. R.I.P Prop Joe

  • Nisa

    I loved his character on the show. 52 is too young to go. Rest in peace, Robert Chew.

  • SallyB

    I got the disc set of the wire and was just watching an episode last night. This is sad news to hear. He is in a better place now.

  • No1sname

    Yes a very talented man who made his mark & my condolences to his family….RIP Prop Joe!

  • alesea

    Loved him in the wire Rip Prop Joe

  • mike

    I see a lot of the ladies that frequent this site don’t have any idea who this man is cause theres not any comments. I enjoyed his performance on The Wire. R.I.P sir. And if you ladies have never seen the series it’s a good view.

    • Babydoll 70

      I intend on watching it, I’ll probably get the dvd set since I don’t have premium cable.

      • IllyPhilly

        Best way to watch anyway. The featurettes are great!!!