Dearon Thompson, an actor, rapper, and motivational speaker who went by the stage name of "Deezer D", has reportedly passed away at the age of 55. Thompson is best known for his role as nurse Malik McGrath across fifteen years of the medical drama ER. The news was broken by TMZ on late Thursday night, with the organization reporting that he was found unresponsive at his home on Thursday morning in Los Angeles. According to the report, the official cause of death is unknown, but Thompson's brother says that his family believes he died of a heart attack.
Thompson was born on March 12, 1965 in Los Angeles, California. His first film credit is as Jazz in the 1991 Vanilla Ice-starring film Cool as Ice. His filmography in the later 1990s included the John Larroquette Show, CB4, and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
Thompson portrayed Malik McGrath across 190 episodes of ER, culminating in the series finale in 2009. Shortly after, Thompson made headlined for being candid about his heart complications, having to undergo major heart surgery in 2009.
“I have a heart valve that is leaking and the aorta had expanded to way beyond what it is supposed to be," Thompson told RadarOnline 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.”
Following ER, Thompson's credits include the short films Raven and Under the Sun Restored. His final onscreen credit was in the 2017 family movie Crowning Jules.
Outside of acting, Thompson was well known for being a prolific motivational speaker and performer, particularly in the realms of Christian and underground hip hop. His most recent album was 2008's Delayed, But Not Denied.
"The music thing came so natural," Thompson revealed in an interview with CrossWalk in 1999. "It actually came first, but I got paid as an actor first."
"I write stuff that people can relate to," Thompson continued. "But I let you know that Jesus Christ is running my life. Not everything I rap about is biblical, in the sense that I'm not trying to be Mr. Scripture in all my songs."
Our thoughts are with Thompson's family, friends, and fans at this time.