Granville Adams, star of prison drama ‘Oz,’ dies after cancer battle: ‘Goodnight, sweet prince’


Actor Granville Adams, best known for his role as Zahir Arif in HBO’s prison drama “Oz,” has died after a prolonged battle against cancer.

Tom Fontana, “Oz” showrunner and executive producer, confirmed the news of Adams’ death and paid respects to the actor on Instagram Sunday. “Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to they rest,” Fontana wrote beneath a photo of Adams.

“Oz” co-star Kirk Acevedo, who portrayed Miguel Alvarez in the HBO series, paid his condolences on Twitter, writing: “I lost my brotha today after a long battle with cancer, 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,” Acevedo continued. “Until then… Rest easy my friend.”

Harold Perrineau, who played Augustus Hill on “Oz,” wrote on Instagram: “You can’t always cry, sometimes you’ve got to CELEBRATE the time you had together.”

“I LOVE this man and the entire group of family/friends that we all created,” he wrote. “Sleep well Prince! We’ll see each other again.”

Adams starred in 48 “Oz” episodes from 1997 to 2003. He played Officer Jeff Westby in “Homicide: Life on the Street” from 1996 to 1999 and appeared in “Homicide: The Movie” in 2000 after the TV series was canceled. Adams made a 2002 appearance in “Empire” as Det. Jones.

In December 2020, Adams announced he was battling cancer on Instagram when he shared a photo of himself from a hospital bed

In January of this year, Fontana and actor Dean Richards started a GoFundMe page to support the actor who had not been “able to work for the past year.”

“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,” the GoFundMe read. It surpassed its fundraising goal of $69,550 and has currently raised $99,982.

Adams continued to chronicle his cancer battle on Instagram, maintaining a smile through grueling radiation treatment and beaming during hospital visits from co-stars.

Following radiation treatment in July, Adams posted a hospital bed selfie and proclaimed himself “135 pounds of post radiation badness.” 

An Instagram post from late June featured a a brilliant sky and a setting sun seen through Adams’ hospital window. “Enjoy today and all of its endlessly beautiful possibilities,” he wrote, adding a praying hands emoji.

“Oz” co-star Winters paid Adams a touching tribute on Instagram, writing that “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,” Winters continued. “Granville was beloved, period. … A humble, beautiful soul who just elevated the afterlife to a whole new level. You will be missed my friend. You are my brother and I’m a better human being for knowing you RIP G.”

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