Actor Lance Reddick, best known for his commanding presence as a no-nonsense police chief on the acclaimed television drama The Wire and for his supporting work in the John Wick action-film series, has died at the age of 60, his publicist said.

Reddick died suddenly yesterrday morning of natural causes, according to a statement issued by the publicist, Mia Hansen. No further details about the circumstances of his death were immediately disclosed.

Celebrity news website TMZ, citing law enforcement sources, reported the performer had been found dead at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles at around 9.30am.

His death came just days before the planned 24 March release of the fourth instalment in the John Wick franchise, in which he reprised his role as a hotel manager named Charon, an ally of the title character, a professional assassin forced out of retirement, played by Keanu Reeves.

Mr Reddick scored his first major screen role as police chief Cedric Daniels on the HBO crime drama The Wire, set in his home town of Baltimore.

The show, which aired for five seasons beginning in 2002, was widely hailed as one of television's greatest dramas for its gritty portrait of urban struggle as told from the perspective of police, narcotics dealers and the people caught between them.

He also starred in US sci-fi series Fringe, alongside Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson.

A classically trained pianist, Mr Reddick attended the Peabody Preparatory Institute to study music, worked in the Walden School's summer music theory and composition program, and eventually obtained a bachelor's degree in classical composition from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music.

A photograph of Mr Reddick posted on his Instagram account the day before his death showed the smiling actor, seated on a sofa in his living room surrounded by four pet dogs.

Mr Reddick is survived by his wife, Stephanie, whom he married in 2011, and the couple's son and daughter.