Wednesday, March 31, 2010

David Mills, RIP

Veteran 'Wire,' 'ER' screenwriter David Mills dies
By MARY FOSTER Associated Press Writer © 2010 The Associated Press
March 31, 2010, 2:00PM

NEW ORLEANS — David Mills, a veteran television writer who worked on the award-winning series "ER" and "The Wire," has died. He was 48.

Mills died Tuesday night in New Orleans, said HBO spokesman Diego Aldana, declining to provide any other information.

Mills had been living in New Orleans while co-writing and acting as co-executive producer of the new HBO series "Treme," (truh-MAY'). He wrote two of the upcoming episodes. The drama is set to premiere April 11.

"HBO is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague David Mills," said a network statement. "He was a gracious and humble man, and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him, as well as those who were aware of his immense talent. David has left us too soon but his brilliant work will live on."

Treme cast and crew members held a memorial for Mills on the set Wednesday morning, said New Orleans-born actor Wendell Pierce, who played Detective William "Bunk" Moreland on "The Wire," and plays a musician in "Treme."

"He was very quiet and introverted, but spoke volumes when he wrote," Pierce said of Mills. "He challenged us as actors and he challenged Americans when it came to matters of race. He was one of the more talented people working in TV. He made it much more than just empty entertainment."

Mills collapsed on the set Tuesday night, Pierce said. An autopsy was pending.

"He was carrying on a conversation and just fell over," Pierce said. "They called the medics, but there was nothing to be done."

Mills began his career as a reporter for the Washington Post, before turning to screenwriting. In addition to "ER" and "The Wire," he worked on the HBO drama, "The Corner," and "Homicide: Life on the Street," among other shows.

According to Internet Movie Database, Mills started his television writing career with longtime friend and "Wire" creator David Simon in 1994. The pair wrote an episode of "Homicide" that year, for which they won a Writers Guild of America award.

Mills won Emmys for co-writing and executive producing the miniseries "The Corner" and an Edgar in 2007 for "The Wire."

Treme is set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and is being filmed in the city. The series is named after the Creole neighborhood known for its rich musical history.

"I'm so sorry he won't be able to see the launch of the show he cared so much about," Pierce said.

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