J. Kim Murphy | Variety
Granville Adams, the actor best known for his performance as Zahir Arif on HBO’s “Oz,” has died following a long struggle with cancer. He was 58 years old.
The news was shared in a tribute posted by “Oz” showrunner and executive producer Tom Fontana on his Instagram on Sunday.
“Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to they rest,” Fontana wrote.
Fontana and “Oz” star Dean Winters launched a GoFundMe campaign earlier this year to help Adams and his family pay for the actor’s medical care. The campaign had gone on to raise $99,800, exceeding its $69,500 goal, though it remained active as Adams continued to require treatment.
“As many of you know, our friend and brother Granville Adams has been diagnosed with cancer,” Fontana wrote on GoFundMe in January. “In only a few months, the medical bills have skyrocketed to astronomical levels. Not only does he have to battle this ruthless disease, but now he has to fend off the hospital bills the insurance company refuses to pay. In this quarter alone, the unpaid bills have piled up to $69,550. We want to gather together and show Granville our love by clearing this quarter’s bills, giving Granville concrete support in his fight against this vicious disease.”
Adams was a cast member in all six seasons of “Oz,” portraying Zahir Arif in 48 episodes. After being incarcerated for possession of stolen goods, Arif undergoes a transformation and reforms himself through Islam to become one of the more tranquil prisoners in the Oswald State Correctional Facility. Adams also had a role on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” and appeared in “Empire.”
In 2007, Adams was cleared of a charge of negligent homicide after an altercation in a nightclub led to a man’s death. Adams’ attorneys pleaded self-defense, while prosecutors were unable to prove that Adams had acted negligently during the altercation.
Winters shared his own tribute to Granville on Instagram.
“I first met Granny in 1992 and I immediately drank the Kool Aid,” Winters wrote. “His smile was infectious, his chuckle was intoxicating. He never, ever spoke ill of anyone and I defy anyone who knew him to say anything negative about this man. Granville was beloved, period… A humble, beautiful soul who just elevated the afterlife to a whole new level. You will be missed my friend.”
“I lost my brotha today after a long battle with cancer,” “Oz” costar Kirk Acevedo wrote on Twitter. “I don’t do well with loss because I’m unfamiliar with it. Yo Granny we’ll be chopping it up on the other side one day. Until then… Rest easy my friend.”