Beloved and Prolific Poet-Actor Craig 'muMs' Grant Dies at 53

Craig Grant (aka muMs) performs poetry at the Alicia Keys “Tears For Water” book release party on November 9, 2004.
Craig Grant (aka muMs) performs poetry at the Alicia Keys “Tears For Water” book release party on November 9, 2004.
Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Craig “muMs” Grant, the beloved poet and actor known for appearing in HBO’s acclaimed series Oz, has died. His representatives at Ellipsis Entertainment Group confirmed Grant died on Thursday, but the details of his death are unknown, Deadline reports.

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“We are heartbroken over the loss of one of the most genuine, caring, loving souls we have ever had the pleasure of representing,” an Ellipsis spokesperson said in a statement. “Craig was more than our client, he was our dear friend. We all just lost a phenomenal man.”

His exact date of birth isn’t publicly known, though since his birth year is listed as 1968, he is believed to have been 53 years old.

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Deadline further reports:

Billed as muMs da Schemer, the name he used during his early slam-poetry years, Grant guested or recurred as Arnold “Poet” Jackson on Oz during its entire 1997-2003 run, appearing in all but seven episodes. His character was a heroin addict who is released from “Emerald City,” only to return after killing a drug dealer. A member of the Homeboys prison gang, the character often recited poems about social and political injustice endured by Black Americans.

Born and raised in New York City, Grant competed in at the 1996 National Poetry Slam as a member of the Nuyorican team and was featured in the 1998 feature documentary Slam Nation: The Sport of Spoken Word. He also was featured on early seasons on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Grant later became a member of the LAByrinth Theater Company, which staged his one-man show A Sucker Emcee.

Though his early poetry work may be more familiar within the spoken word community, if you’re a frequent consumer of film or television, chances are you saw Grant’s face and witnessed his talent...often. His extensive credits include The Sopranos, Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order, Boston Legal, Cold Case, Blue Bloods, Nurse Jackie, Luke Cage, High Maintenance, Bamboozled, The Last O.G. and She’s Gotta Have It (2017), Monsters and Men, Breaking Point, The Good Heart, Ball Don’t Lie, Interview and Dark Water. His recent film/TV gigs included Steven Soderberg’s No Sudden Moves and a recurring role on Starz’s Hightown. Grant was also reportedly scheduled to begin filming Tyler Perry’s new BET+ series All the Queen’s Men in Atlanta.

The news began circulating via social media on Thursday after author Kevin Powell tweeted, “I am just speechless right now. Any of us who came up in New York poetry/spoken word scene of 1990s or 2000s know [the] name Craig “Mums” Grant. Got word this morning he passed while making a film or tv project in ATL. Mums was mad gifted with words, and acting, and more. HUGE LOSS.”

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Feeling an understandable range of emotions, from shock to sadness, the Twitter timeline began to fill quickly with warm memories and stories of the late performer.

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Rest in power, muMs.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

DISCUSSION

thedamesgotmoxie
LaRockyMay!

Oh no!!!! I first got to know him from Oz, then I discovered his poetry; rest in power. *

*and Jessica Walter is gone too!!!