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SYFY WIRE obituary

Clark Middleton, Twin Peaks and Fringe Actor, dead at 63

By Josh Grossberg
Clark Middleton The Path

Clark Middleton, the unassuming actor who played Sherilyn Fenn's sleepy husband in the third season of David's Lynch's Twin Peaks and appeared in such genre hits as Snowpiercer, Sin City and Kill Bill Vol. 2, has died. He was 63.

His wife, actress Elissa Middleton, confirmed to Variety that Middleton passed away at his Los Angeles home on Sunday from West Nile Virus, a mosquito-born disease for which there's "no known cure."

"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," she wrote. "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 is probably most recognizable to TV viewers for his recurring role as skiptracer Glen Carter on NBC's crime hit The Blacklist. But Twin Peaks fans will remember him most as the bald, bespectacled Charlie, Audrey's cuck of a pencil-pusher hubby who she berates into going with her to the Roadhouse to help her find her missing lover. The character appeared in four episodes of Lynch's 2017 continuation/reboot of his surreal soap opera back in 2017.

Middleton also had a recurring role as Edward Markham in J.J. Abrams' sci-fi Fox series, Fringe, the owner of a rare collectibles book store who assists Joshua Jackson's Peter Bishop with some key intel about his estranged father.

Other notable genre shows include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., American Gods, The Path, South of Hell, Gotham, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Law & Order.

On the big screen, the thesp appeared in works by some of the cinema's biggest auteurs. Among them were Alejandro Gonalez Inarritu's 2014 Oscar-winning Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Bong Joon Ho's Snowpiercer, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, Robert Rodriguez's Sin City, and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2.

Middleton's other film credits include the crime thriller Aftermath (2013) with Anthony Michael Hall, the drama Day Zero (2007) with Elijah Wood, and rom-com Serendipity (2001) opposite John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.

Middleton first launched his acting career in the New York theater scene in 1983 when he was cast in three plays with the late Geraldine Page. That led to opportunities creating roles for the likes of playwrights Sam Shepherd an John Guare, among others.

Aside from performing on stages across the country, Middleton was also a writer and director in his own right, having written the one-person, critically acclaimed play Miracle Mile.

The actor also was a spokesman for the Arthritis Foundation, having lived with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for over 50 years.

He is survived by his wife, Elissa, brother Kirby Middleton, and mother Sue Perior. Donations can be made to the Arthritis Foundation.