Clark Middleton, a prolific actor known for his work on The Blacklist and the third season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, died Sunday at the age of 63. According to his wife, Elissa Middleton, the actor had contracted West Nile virus. “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, according to Variety. “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.”
Having made his screen debut in a 1983 TV movie, Middleton wrote and performed a biographic one-man play in 1997 about navigating the world with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. That same year, he was cast on Law & Order in the reoccurring role of forensic tech Ellis, later appearing in films like Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Sin City, Snowpiercer, and Birdman (or, the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance.) He made his Broadway debut in the 2018 revival of The Iceman Cometh alongside Denzel Washington.
His small screen work eventually took him to Fringe, where he portrayed the show’s rare book collector Edward Markham, as well as to The Path and American Gods. Middleton most recently, and most prominently, appeared on The Blacklist as DMV employee-turned-fixer Glen Carter, and in Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return as Charlie, husband to Sherilyn Fenn’s Audrey Horne.
“I heard that they were doing a new Twin Peaks and I had reached out to my agents about it,” the actor told IndieWire in 2017 about joining the cast of The Return. “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.”