David E. Mills, an Emmy-award winning television writer who worked on dramas as varied as “Homicide,” “NYPD Blue,” “E.R.” and “The Wire,” died suddenly Tuesday after collapsing on the New Orleans set of his new HBO drama, “Treme.” He was 48.
A former journalist who worked for the Washington Post, the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal, Mills was on the set of the post-Katrina drama as it filmed a scene at Café du Monde in the French Quarter when he was stricken.
He was rushed to the downtown Tulane Medical Center where he died without regaining consciousness. Doctors there said he suffered what appeared to be a brain aneurism.
Mills was on the film set as a writer and executive producer, monitoring filming of an episode of the series, which is slated to premiere on HBO in little more than a week.
Cast and crew of “Treme” held a memorial service in Washington Square park this morning and then suspended filming for the day.
Mills won two Emmy awards for television writing and was nominated for three other Emmys for his writing on “NYPD Blue” and “E.R.” As a newspaperman, his coverage of race and popular culture for the Style Section of the Washington Post in the 1990s was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the newspaper.
In addition, Mills – a light-skinned African-American who loved to explore the nuances of race, politics and culture in America, tweaking ideologues wherever he found them – maintained a much-read internet blog, “Undercover Black Man,” for the last half of this decade.
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