Actor Robert F. Chew, best known for the character Proposition Joe he played on HBO’s The Wire, has died. Chew died Thursday at his home in Baltimore of apparent heart failure during his sleep. He was 52. Chew broke into TV with a role in Homicide: Life On The Street and appeared in the miniseries The Corner and the TV movie Something The Lord Made. He also taught and mentored young actors at Baltimore’s Arena Players, and he maintained his relationship with the troupe after his career took off with David Simon’s HBO series. He introduced new talent from the group to casting directors and coached young actors who played students in the Baltimore City School system in Season 4 of The Wire. Chew continued to teach in the Arena Players Youth Theatre after The Wire ended production in 2007. “Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater community in Baltimore,” Simon said today in an email to The Baltimore Sun. “He could have gone to New York or Los Angeles and commanded a lot more work, but he loved the city as his home and chose to remain here working”. Simon added, “Robert’s depiction of Proposition Joe was so fixed and complete — from the very earliest scenes — that the writers took for granted that anything we sent him would be finely executed.”