Actor Granville Adams, known for his roles on “Oz” and “Homicide,” has died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 58. Affectionately known as ‘Granny,’ Adams’ death was announced by his family in a statement posted to his Instagram account on Monday, Oct. 11.
“Today our beloved Granville Adams has passed and is now with God. After a long hard-fought battle with Cancer, Granny has ascended to the heavens,” the statement read. “Gran spent his last days surrounded by his loved ones, family, and close friends. His wife Christina was by his side the entire time and was alone with him when he passed.”
“Granny is now in peace and not suffering anymore. He fought till the end with a strength, beauty and grace like no other, putting his family before himself til the final moments. We are all so honored to have known Granville, who embodies the expression ‘to know him is to love him,’” the statement continued.
Adams first revealed he was battling cancer on December 5, 2020, when he posted a photo of himself in a hospital bed on Instagram with the caption “F**K CANCER!” He posted several photos thereafter that seemed to show him in jovial spirits despite his condition. He even captioned one photo of him in a hospital bed, “135 pounds of post radiation badness,” accompanied by muscle flex emojis.
Adams played Zahir Arif, a burglar turned devout Muslim, on all six seasons of Oz – which ran from 1997 to 2003. He was also known for his role as Officer Jeff Westby in the “Homicide” television series and movie.
Oz showrunner and executive producer Tom Fontana started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover Adams’ medical expenses after learning of his cancer diagnosis.
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“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,” Fontana wrote on the GoFundMe campaign’s description.
Fontana said for that quarter alone, the expenses were $69,550, which he set as the fundraising goal. At the time of Adams’ death, the campaign had surpassed its goal at donations totaling $100,301.
As news of Adams’ death spread, tributes and condolences poured in on social media from his former co-stars and fans, including Fontana. “Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to they rest,” Fontana wrote in the caption of a photo he posted of Adams in character as Zahir on Instagram.
“I first met Granny in 1992 and I immediately drank the Kool Aid. 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,” wrote actor Dean Winters, who played intelligent and ruthless Irish inmate Ryan O’Reily on Oz. “You will be missed my friend. You are my brother and I’m a better human being for knowing you.”
“I lost my brotha today after a long battle with cancer. I don’t do well with loss because I’m unfamiliar with it,” tweeted Kirk Acevedo, another Oz co-star who portrayed Latino inmate and gang leader Miguel Acevedo on the show. “Yo Granny we’ll be chopping it up on the other side one day. Until then… Rest easy my friend.”
The death announcement from Granville Adams’ family also said they asked him to give them a sign that he crossed over. According to the statement, after he died, Adams’ family and friends went to eat and “reminisce” about him. While there, the statement continues, “there was a torrential downpour which subsided after 30 minutes only to reveal a brilliant double rainbow right in front of us.”
They encouraged everyone to remember Adams with love and laughter. “Granville would not want us to be sad! Granny would want us all to smile and remember the best times we had with him, and share the love we learned from him,” the statement said. “Granny may have left the building, but he will forever be in our hearts!“
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