Clark Middleton, Actor in 'The Blacklist' and 'Snowpiercer,' Dies at 63

Clark Middleton
Courtesy of Nancy Seltzer & Associates

Clark Middleton

He appeared on Broadway with Denzel Washington and was seen in 'Birdman,' 'Sin City' and 'Twin Peaks.'

Clark Middleton, who appeared in such films as Birdman and Snowpiercer and had a recurring role on The Blacklist, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of West Nile virus, his wife said. He was 63.

Middleton also was a stage veteran who in 2018 made his Broadway debut as Hugo in the Tony-nominated revival of The Iceman Cometh, led by Denzel Washington and directed by George C. Wolfe.

During the past 30 years, he performed in New York and across the U.S., creating roles for such writers as Sam Shepard, John Guare, David Ives, John Belluso, Lanford Wilson and Jason Katims. He taught acting for more than two decades as well.

Over six seasons starting in 2014, Middleton portrayed the irascible DMV boss Glen Carter, who provides information to James Spader's Raymond "Red" Reddington, on NBC's The Blacklist. In a statement, series creator Jon Bokenkamp called him "a truly unique and gifted actor" and "simply an incredible guy in every way."

"He loved his work with a passion. And he was insanely generous of spirit," he said. "I was fortunate enough to work with Clark over the past several years, and that relationship developed into a wonderful friendship that I'll always cherish. I know his entire family at The Blacklist is devastated by this news. Clark was one of the good ones, and we lost him way too soon."

Middleton also played Charlie on David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival at Showtime in 2017 and was the troubled auditor Richard on the recent Hulu series The Path.

In Bong Joon Ho's Snowpiercer (2013), Middleton appeared as the Painter, seen drawing other passengers or illustrating key events that occur on the train.

"Just a few months ago, I had a drink with him after a screening of Snowpiercer, a night I won't forget," the director said in a statement. "He was a splendid performer and a beautiful human being. I hope he's smiling from heaven, that big smile I saw so often."

Middleton's credits also included Law & Order, Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004), Robert Rodriguez's Sin City (2005) and Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock (2009).

The actor lived with rheumatoid arthritis for more than 50 years and was a spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation. His wife, Elissa, said he was "a beautiful soul who spent a lifetime defying limits and advocating for people with disabilities."

Survivors also include his brother, Kirby, and mother, Sue. Memorial contributions can be made to the Arthritis Foundation.