Dearon Thompson, an actor and rapper who went by the stage name “Deezer D,” died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 55.
Deezer D was best known for playing Nurse Malik McGrath on NBC’s long-running medical drama ER. He appeared in nearly 200 episodes between 1994 through 2009, when the series ended.
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The Los Angeles native was found unresponsive at his home on Thursday morning. His brother, Marshawn, told TMZ family members believe he died of a heart attack, but there is not yet an official cause of death.
The actor previously underwent heart surgery in 2009, and discussed his health issues in an interview with RadarOnline.
“I have a heart valve that is leaking and the aorta had expanded to way beyond what it is supposed to be,” he told the website in 2009. “As soon as the doctor identified what was going on, he put me in here… What I was going through for the last year – that was scary. I’m fearless about the surgery.”
At the time, Deezer D said he had “over 10 episodes of heart failure in the last eight months alone.”
The actor and rapper frequently shared pictures of family members, friends and co-workers on his Instagram page. He also regularly posted information about charity events to help the needy in Southern California.
Deezer D was born in Los Angeles on March 12, 1965. Before landing a role on ER, he appeared in the films Cool as Ice (1991), CB4 (1993), and on The John Larroquette Show.