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Craig Grant
Craig Grant
Photo Credit: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

Actor/Poet Craig 'muMs' Grant of HBO's 'Oz' Dead at 53

Craig 'muMs' Grant also appeared in three seasons of HBO's Def Poetry.

On Thursday, representatives of Craig "muMs the Schemer" Grant confirmed that the beloved actor/poet died of natural causes at the age of 52. Born in New York City and raised in the Bronx, Grant initially caught the eyes of many in SlamNation, a documentary about the 1996 Nuyorican Poetry Slam Team.

“We are heartbroken over the loss of one of the most genuine, caring, loving souls we have ever had the pleasure of representing,” representatives Ellipsis Entertainment Group, Headline Talent Agency, and Ellis Talent Group said in a joint statement. “Craig was more than our client, he was our dear friend. We all just lost a phenomenal man.”

A member of New York City's LAByrinth Theater Company, muMs performed on the second, third, and fourth seasons of HBO's Def Poetry. From 1997 to 2003, he played Arnold "Poet" Jackson in the HBO series Oz. In 2003, he appeared as Lysol in the "Mad Real World" Chappelle's Show skit. In 2007, he played a role in "A View from 151st Street." Three years later, he appeared as Mop in the "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh" episode of The Sopranos. 

Grant also made cameos on shows like Law and Order: SVU, She's Gotta Have It, and Luke Cage. He also lent his voice to video games like Grand Theft Auto IV, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, and The Warriors. Most recently, Grant finished a role in No Sudden Move, a Steven Soderbergh film starring Jon Hamm, Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle.

After the news was announced, Saul Williams, who was also part of that 1996 Nuyorican Poetry Slam Team, posted a touching message dedicated towards Grant.