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It’s a sad day for fans of HBO series The Wire. Actor Robert F. Chew, best known for playing character “Proposition” Joe Stewart in the critically acclaimed television series, has died.

Yesterday, January 18, 2013, the actor was found dead in his Baltimore apartment yesterday. TMZ reports:

According to the coroner in Baltimore, Chew died of cardiovascular disease. “Morbid obesity” was listed as a contributing factor.

Chew had very little acting experience before “The Wire” or after. He was on the cult HBO show — which took place in Baltimore — for five seasons.

Jamie Hector, who played Marlo on the show, tweeted this afternoon, “I didn’t want to believe this #RIP Robert F Chew, Prop Joe will always be remembered Robert Chew will always be loved and missed!”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Chew was 52 years-old and died in his sleep. The actor worked with the  Baltimore’s Arena Players an organization that mentored child and teenaged actors throughout the Baltimore area. The Wire’s creator, David Simon, sent a letter to the Sun praising Chew.

‘”The Wire cast was an embarrassment of riches and it was easy, I think, for outsiders to overlook some of those who were so essential as supporting players,” wrote Simon. ” Robert’s depiction of Proposition Joe was so fixed and complete — from the very earliest scenes — that the writers took for granted that anything we sent him would be finely executed.”

We won’t spoil what happened to “Prop Joe” on The Wire, but at this point you really need to stop snoozing if you’re not familiar.

In late 2012, Donnie Andrews, the man who inspired the popular The Wire character Omar Little, passed away. Rest In Power Robert F. Chew.

Photo: HBO