Poet and actor Craig "muMs" Grant, who starred as Arnold "Poet" Jackson on all six seasons of HBO's acclaimed prison drama Oz, died on Wednesday. He was 52. His representative, Pam Ellis-Evans of the Ellis Talent Group, announced his death on Thursday. No cause of death was announced.
Grant's acting career began in 2000 when he appeared in Spike Lee's Bamboozled. He later had an uncredited part in Lee's 2018 movie BlackKkKlansman and starred as Cash Jackson in episodes of Lee's Netflix series She's Gotta Have It. As a New York-based actor, Grant appeared in episodes of Bull, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Knick, and Blue Bloods. His other credits include episodes of Luke Cage, Law & Order, Boston Legal, Boston Legal, Nurse Jackie, and The Last O.G.
Grant's best-known part was Arnold "Poet" Jackson in Oz, which ran on HBO from 1997 to 2003. The character was a heroin addict who was released from prison but later returned after he killed a rug dealer. "Poet" was known for reciting poetry on the show about the political injustice Black Americans face. The series was created by Tom Fontana.
At the time of his death, Grant was filming Starz's Hightown in Wilmington, North Carolina, reports The Hollywood Reporter. He was next scheduled to film in Atlanta, where he was working on a recurring part in BET's streaming series All The Queen's Men. He also filmed a part in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming movie No Sudden Move with Jon Hamm, Benicio del Toro, and Don Cheadle. Grant previously worked with Soderbergh on the 2013 movie Side Effects.
"We are heartbroken over the loss of one of the most genuine, caring, loving souls we have ever had the pleasure of representing," the Ellis Talent Group said in a statement to Deadline. "Craig was more than our client, he was our dear friend. We all just lost a phenomenal man."
Grant was born in New York City and was first noticed for his poetry. He often performed under the stage name muMs da Schemer and was featured in the documentary SlamNation. He also performed his poetry in the HBO series Def Poetry. He joined the LAByrinth Theater Company, which staged his one-man show, A Sucker Emcee, which was about growing up in the Bronx. His agency said he was in talks with the National Black Theatre and The Public to stage the show again in open-air venues this year.