Al Brown, The Wire 's Stan Valchek, dies at 83

Al Brown, who played the savvy and menacing Baltimore Police Department commissioner Stan Valchek on HBO's The Wire, died on January 13 in Las Vegas at the age of 83. Brown's daughter, Jenny, told TMZ that the actor had been battling Alzheimer's. The news was also announced on his Facebook page.

Brown came to acting later in life, after serving for 29 years in the Air Force. He began his Hollywood career in the '90s, with small roles in television (Homicide: Life on the Street, The F.B.I. Files) and movies (12 Monkeys, The Replacement).

His breakthrough role came in 2002 with David Simon's The Wire. As Stanislaus "Stan" Valchek, Brown appeared in all five seasons of the critically adored drama. His character took on a primary role in season 2, which centered on corruption at Baltimore's shipping docks — and Valchek's petty feud with dockworker union boss Frank Sobotka (Chris Bauer) over the donation of a stained glass window to a local church.

Though Brown's Valchek was one of many intimidating yet hilarious characters on The Wire, the actor's comedic timing and brash swagger made Stan Valchek a fan favorite. Whether advising an officer to "shut up and play dumb" or calling a room full of city officials "ratf---ers," Brown commanded every scene he appeared in. Watch some of his best moments below.

The Wire is currently streaming on HBO Max.

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