American movie actor and producer Clark Middleton, popular for his role on NBC’s The Blacklist where he played Glen “Jellybean” Carter lost his battle to the uncurable West Nile Virus on Sunday 4th October.
His wife Elissa Middleton issued a statement confirming this unfortunate news. “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.”
“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,” further read the statement.
As a young man at California Junior College, Middleton discovered his talent as he signed up with an acting class with a group of friends. This played out to be the beginning of a rollercoaster of a journey in the film industry as he made his debut in the 1983 TV movie Miss Lonelyhearts. In 1997, Clark wrote the one-person play Miracle Mile about his lifelong struggle with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which he performed in New York City and all over the United States. This turned out to be a defining moment for not only his career but also his life as an advocate for persons living with disabilities. This saw him scoop various acting roles such a forensics technician Ellis on NBC’s Law and Order featuring on the science fiction series Fringe as Edward Markham a rare book dealer.
In his prime Middleton appeared as a recurring cast member of The Blacklist as Glen, a DMV worker who moonlights as a tracker and close confidant of fugitive Raymond Redd Reddington a role that is arguably his most known. In 2017, he was cast as Charlie, Audrey Horne’s husband, in the Showtime Network series Twin Peaks: The Return the sequel to the 1990s TV series Twin Peaks.
Having born in 1957 to Sue Perior very little information is known about Clark’s early life apart from that he made public in various interviews. By the time he would celebrate his fourth birthday, Middleton was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a disease that started with distorting his hands and later cortisone that made his cheeks fat. Four years later when he clocked 8, he lost movement in his neck before his hip snapped at 15. He later remained at a height of 5 ft 4 but the challenges he went through in his childhood really built and modelled him into the fine man he became as he kept advocating for people living with disabilities till he breathed his last.
Lots of tributes have been flowing in from all over the world and The Blacklist writer Jon Bokenkamp would not be left out as he released a 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.” Middleton, a lifetime member of the Actors Studio, taught acting for more than 20 years in New York City and made way for many actors today.
He is survived by his wife Elissa, his brother Kirby Middleton and his mother Sue Perior. May his soul rest in Peace.