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Craig "muMs" Grant, Poet, Oz Co-star, and Regular With Labyrinth Theatre, Dies at 52

The poet died unexpectedly earlier this week.

Craig 'muMs' Grant
(© David Gordon)

Craig "muMs" Grant, an actor and spoken word performer known for his work on Def Poetry Jam and Oz, and with the Labyrinth Theatre Company, has died at the age of 52. No cause of death was provided, though in a statement, Labyrinth noted that Grant's passing on Wednesday was unexpected.

Born and raised in New York City, Grant rose to prominence as a member of the Nuyorican Poetry Slam team and was featured in the documentary SlamNation in 1998 and the early seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Onscreen, Grant was known for his recurring role as Arnold "Poet" Jackson on the HBO prison drama Oz, appearing in all but seven episodes during the show's 1997-2003 run. Grant had a prolific screen career, guest-starring on shows including The Sopranos, Boston Legal, Nurse Jackie, Cold Case, Blue Bloods, and She's Gotta Have It.

Theatrically, Grant regularly performed in the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and was a longtime member of off-Broadway's Labyrinth Theatre Company. With Labyrinth, he appeared in the original off-Broadway productions of Stephen Adly Guirgis's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bob Glaudini's A View From 151st Street, directed by Peter DuBois, both at the Public Theater, and Lucy Thurber's The Insurgents at the Bank Street Theatre. He explored his life as a theater artist in his solo show A Sucker Emcee, which, according to published reports, he was planning to perform this summer in open-air venues across New York City. His play Paradox of the Urban Cliché was presented in 2015 at the Wild Project.

Grant had recently finished shooting Steven Soderbergh's upcoming film No Sudden Move, and was working on a recurring role on the Starz series Hightown, which was filming in North Carolina. He was supposed to travel to Atlanta next week to wrap up an arc on the BET streaming series All the Queen's Men.

"We'll forever miss our friend, brother, LAB member, Emcee, mentor, poet, actor, spoken-word giant, and fire-breathing teddy bear," Labyrinth said in a statement. "muMs' presence, performances, and words inspired a generation. His legacy will live on, from the Bronx and into the beyond. Keep rocking the mic, Schemer!"

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