Middleton’s agent Steve Stone confirmed that the actor died of West Nile Virus on Sunday in his Los Angeles home. The virus can be found in mosquitos and has no cure or vaccine.
“With heavy hearts we announce the passing of a life immanently 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,” Middleton’s wife Elissa wrote in a statement.
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Born in 1957, Middleton was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when he was just four years old. The actor began his entertainment career in 1983 as part of the congregation in the “Miss Lonelyhearts” episode of American Playhouse.
Throughout the 90’s and early aughts Middleton played a number of supporting roles in various television titles including Law & Order, Jonny Zero, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Additional TV credits include Gotham, The Path and most notably the third season Twin Peaks. In the 2017 continuation of David Lynch’s mysterious crime series Middleton played Charlie, the husband to Sherilyn Fenn’s Audrey Horne.
From 2014 to 2020 Middleton starred in The Blacklist as Glen Carter, an employee at a Washington D.C. DMV.
Middleton also appeared in a number of feature films including Bail Jumper, The Contenders, Serendipity and Sin City. He also starred as Ernie in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 2. His additional film credits include Gutterbee, Trivia Night, Birdman and Bong Joon-Ho’s 2013 film Snowpiercer.
Blacklist writer Jon Bokenkamp remembered Middleton: “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 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.”
Beyond the screen, Middleton write and produced shorts Idee Fix and My Milonga, also directing the latter.
Middleton, who lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis for more than 50 years, is survived by his wife, his brother and mother.
Memorial contributions can be made to the the Arthritis Foundation arthritis.org/clarkmiddleton