Deezer D, best known for his role as nurse Malik McGrath on “ER,” has passed away at age 55.
On Thursday, TMZ reported that the actor, born Dearon Thompson, had been found unresponsive at his Los Angeles home that morning.
Deezer’s brother Marshawn told the outlet that his family believes he died of a heart attack, though Deezer’s official cause of death is not yet known.
TMZ also reports that Deezer underwent a six-hour heart surgery in 2009 to replace an aorta and to fix a leaky heart valve.
In addition to appearing in almost 200 episodes of the hit medical drama from 1994-2009, Deezer was also a motivational speaker and a rapper who released numerous albums, including 2008’s “Delayed, But Not Denied.”
He also appeared in comedic films such as 1997’s “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” and 2003’s “Bringing Down the House.”
After news of Deezer’s tragic passing broke, a number of his “ER” castmates paid their respects on social media.
Noah Wyle, who portrayed Dr. John Carter, wrote on Instagram Friday, “I lost a dear friend yesterday… He was one of the most creative and charismatic men I’ve ever known and his gospel of positivity pulled us both up from many a dark place. I will miss him terribly.”
In the comments section, Julianna Margulies, who played Nurse Carol Hathaway, wrote, “No no no! My heart is broken to hear this Noah. He was simply the sweetest most fun to be around. I can’t believe it!”
Additionally, Mekhi Phifer, who portrayed Gregory Pratt, wrote on an “ER” fan page, “What a special spirit we have all lost! Since the first day I met him on the set of ER he absolutely made me feel at home and welcomed. My brother will forever be missed! Many condolences to his friends, fans and family. RIP Deezer D!!”
Our condolences go out to Deezer’s family and loved ones for their loss.