Dearon "Deezer D" Thompson, best known for his role as Nurse Malik McGrath on ER, has died. He was 55.
The actor's brother, Emmery Thompson, confirmed the tragic news in a post shared to Instagram on Friday. "My Big Brother! God is with you," he wrote. "I will miss you. 🙏🏾 #deezerd." The family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover costs of the funeral.
Dearon was found unresponsive at his home in Los Angeles Thursday morning, according to TMZ, who was first to report the news. His family told the outlet that they believe he may have died of a heart attack (the actor previously underwent major heart surgery in 2009), though the cause of death has yet to be revealed.
In addition to appearing on ER from 1994 through 2009, Dearon also starred in films like CB4 and Fear of a Black Hat, and performed as a hip-hop artist and motivational speaker. Other credits include Bringing Down the House, The John Larroquette Show, and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
"What a special spirit we have all lost!" Mekhi Phifer, who starred on the long-running medical drama with Dearon wrote on Instagram after hearing the news. "Since the first day I met him on the set of ER he absolutely made me feel at home and welcomed. My brother will forever be missed! Many condolences to his friends, fans and family. RIP Deezer D!!"
"I am so sorry to hear of his passing," added fellow ER star Lyn Alicia Henderson. "He had a spirit that was bigger than life and we always had the best conversations! I loved his music, his love of God and his love for his family. He will be missed!"
I had the pleasure of working with Deezer D on E.R. One of the kindest most Gentle souls ever. Even before Diversity was popular he made it on one of the biggest Shows on Network. Prayers to his family. Rest Easy my Brother. pic.twitter.com/XSIoSfFu9l
I'm sadden to learn the sudden passing of my friend Deezer D. He was a devoted Christian. I’ve been friends with #DeezerD since his #ER days in the 90’s. We’ve spent many times working out together. Sending my prayers and condolences to his family. Especially his young son. 🙏💔 pic.twitter.com/SNbPBTA3OK