While fans of The Blacklist eagerly await the season 8 premiere, the cast and crew are mourning one of their own. Star Clark Middleton — who played Glen “Jellybean” Carter — died on Oct. 4, according to his wife Elissa.
Clark Middleton’s wife confirmed ‘The Blacklist’ star’s death
Middleton’s spunky character stole the spotlight from his very first scene in The Blacklist Season 2. As Raymond Reddington’s (James Spader) DMV contact, Jellybean offered viewers a dose of levity with every appearance.
The actor’s wife Elissa announced his passing, according to Variety.
“With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of a life eminently worthy of celebration: Clark Tinsley Middleton, 63 — beloved actor, writer, director, teacher, hero, husband, beacon, friend,” she wrote.
“Clark transitioned on October 4th as a result of West Nile Virus, for which there is no known cure. Clark was a beautiful soul who spent a lifetime defying limits and advocating for people with disabilities.”
Middleton didn’t have to audition for one of his roles
While the role of Jellybean seems to come naturally, Middleton’s acting career spans back to the theater in the early 1980s where h worked alongside Emmy award-winner Geraldine Page. The Blacklist star’s Broadway debut came opposite Denzel Washington in the Tony-nominated The Iceman Cometh.
For three decades, Middleton expanded his theater experiences to producing, writing plays, and directing. His one-person play, Miracle Mile was critically acclaimed — all leading to his TV career.
Middleton appeared in shows like Law & Order, Twin Peaks, Fringe, American Gods, and The Path, all while leaning on some of the world’s most iconic directors for advice and support. The actor worked with Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino,, and Bong Joon, to name a few.
In 2017, Middleton told Indiewire the Twin Peaks gig came without an audition.
“I heard that they were doing a new Twin Peaks and I had reached out to my agents about it,” he said.
“I thought I would enjoy being in that world. It was the sort of world I thought I could fit in as an actor. But then out of the blue, we got this call from casting director Johanna Ray’s office about there being some interest. I just sent a tape of just me chatting with friends really. I think that they probably knew my work.”
Despite all the projects Middleton took on, The Blacklist put him on the mainstream radar.
How will ‘The Blacklist’ pay tribute to Middleton in season 8?
The cast of The Blacklist posted their tributes for the spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation, following the news of his death.
“Our friend, Clark Middleton, a fan-favorite actor who frequently came to work with us on The Blacklist, passed away today,” star Megan Boone posted to Instagram.
“I’ll always be grateful to him for the talent and kindness he shared with us. His character, Glen was an indelible part of our show, as anyone who watches it knows. Losing him will cast a shadow as we begin to shoot season eight next week. My thoughts are with his friends, family and wife, Elissa. Rest In Peace.”
Another Blacklister, Amir Arison, also posted on the social media platform.
“Curious, funny, thoughtful, passionate, grateful, dedicated, a major major talent, and a true gentleman. I’m at a loss. Rest in peace friend. @c.sparkmiddleton,” he captioned a photo of he and Middleton.
Creator and writer for The Blacklist Jon Bokenkamp said via statement:
“I’m heartbroken. Besides being a truly unique and gifted actor, Clark was simply an incredible guy in every way. He was a whip-smart film nut. He loved his work with a passion. And he was insanely generous of spirit … 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.”
So far, there’s been no mention of how The Blacklist will move forward or pay tribute to Middleton of the late Brian Dennehy (who played Dom Rostov), who died before the ned season 7.
Both actors had become vital pieces of Red and Liz’s (Boone) journey. We’ll have to wait and see how the show addresses both losses when The Blacklist returns Friday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. on NBC.