Deezer D, ‘ER’ Actor and Rapper, Dies at 55

He played Nurse Malik McGrath throughout NBC medical drama’s 15-season run

Last Updated: January 9, 2021 @ 9:47 AM

Deezer D, who played Nurse Malik McGrath on “E.R.” for the NBC medical drama’s entire 15-season run, died Thursday, according to TMZ. He was 55.

The actor and rapper, whose real name is Dearon Thompson, was found unresponsive at his Los Angeles home, his brother Marshawn told TMZ. No cause of death has been released for Thompson, but his brother tells TMZ he believes Thompson — who had a six-hour heart surgery in 2009 to replace his aorta and repair a leaky heart valve — died of a heart attack.

Thompson’s brother Emmery confirmed the actor’s passing in an Instagram post Friday, writing: “My Big Brother! God is with you. I will miss you.”

The Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. County coroner’s office did not have information on Thompson when reached by TheWrap Friday. A representative for Thompson could not be reached.

Thompson appeared in 190 episodes of “E.R.” from 1994-2009, starring alongside George Clooney, Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards and Julianna Margulies.

Aside from his part on the iconic medical drama, Thompson’s other credits include roles in the 1997 comedy “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” Chris Rock’s 1993 film “CB4,” the 1993 mockumentary “Fear of a Black Hat,” and, most recently, 2017’s “Crowning Jules” with Kristy Swanson.

Outside of acting, Thompson was known for his rapping career, releasing the albums “Unpredictable” (2002), “Living Up in a Down World” (1999), and “Delayed, But Not Denied” (2008).

Earlier this week, Thompson announced on Instagram he would be releasing a new song, soon, writing, “2021 Drops Next Week! Apple Music and Spotify and YouTube.”

Several “E.R.” alums posted tributes to Thompson, including Wyle, who wrote on Instagram: “I lost a dear friend yesterday. Deezer D, known to millions of ER fans as nurse, Malik McGrath, died yesterday morning. He was one of the most creative and charismatic men I’ve ever known and his gospel of positivity pulled us both up from many a dark place. I will miss him terribly. Please say a prayer for him and hold a loving thought for his family today.”