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Why Glen Carter From The Blacklist Looks So Familiar

NBC's twist-a-minute espionage thriller "The Blacklist" continues to be one of the network's longest-tenured primetime dramas. It remains one of the network's most beloved series as well, with fans still hanging anxiously on every word and action of the enigmatic Raymond "Red" Reddington. That character has been played by the amazing James Spader (who won the role over four different actors) since the series' pilot episode, and it seems a certainty that Spader will indeed be playing the part until "The Blacklist" officially ends its network tenure.

Thankfully, Red continues to rank among the more compelling characters in the network landscape. And yes, "The Blacklist" creative team continues surround Red with a cast of characters every bit as colorful, if not just as dangerous. But when it comes to colorful characters from world of "The Blacklist," few were quite as bright as Red's wise-cracking DMV tracker Glen "Jelly Bean" Carter. That character made his series debut back in Season 1, and he became not only one of Red's most reliably dubious allies, but a bit of a fan favorite among that particular class of supporting players until his unfortunate demise.

As it happens, Glen's demise coincided with the tragic, real-life death of the actor who portrayed him (per Variety). That actor's name is Clark Middleton. And we're betting he looked familiar to many "The Blacklist" fans when he turned up on the show. Here's why.

Middleton turned up in one of the weirder subplots of David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival

Given his distinctive look and peculiar style, Clark Middleton was regularly tabbed with the label "character actor." And it's safe to say he made the most of that title throughout his decades-long career, during which he became a regular presence on the small screen. While "The Blacklist" served as his final, and arguably biggest, television credit, it was a far cry from his first. In fact, along with his "The Blacklist" gig, Middleton has appeared in some of the better TV shows to make it to the airwaves over the past two decades, including "Law & Order," "CSI," "American Gods," and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

In 2017, Middleton was even recruited by the inimitable David Lynch for a key role in what Rolling Stone called one of the most groundbreaking shows to ever hit the airwaves, "Twin Peaks: The Return." Middleton appeared in four episodes of Lynch's mind-melting revival as Charlie, the even tempered, but beleaguered husband of Audrey Horn (O.G. "Twin Peaks" star Sherilyn Fenn). Though thrilling to watch, Charlie and Audrey's tale is among the series' most confounding, as it left many fans grasping for answers (per Digital Spy). So wild is their narrative, we dare not dive too deep into it here ... save to say, Audrey is a deeply troubled woman who doesn't exactly hold her tongue in fight. 

Nonetheless, watching Fenn and Middleton spar remains a legit series highlight largely because of the latter's all-but unflappable performance.   

Fringe found Middleton portraying a brilliant but dodgy rare books dealer

If you missed Clark Middleton absorbing verbal venom in his four-episode stint on "Twin Peaks: The Return," it's entirely possible you caught him in another mind-bending show a few years earlier. At least we're hoping you did, because Middleton's work on Fox's cult-hit sci-fi series "Fringe" ranks among the best of his career. 

Of course, "Fringe" wasn't exactly a ratings machine for Fox during its five-season primetime run. The sci-fi drama was, though, a series so boldly original that the landscape of network TV has never been the same since it ended, with the minds behind "Fringe" utilizing a relatively run-of-the-mill procedural setup to conjure a multiverse saga arguably more complex, and endlessly inventive, than anything the likes of Marvel and DC have yet delivered. And they populated the worlds of that sweeping saga with a rogue's gallery of supporting characters as vividly rendered as the series' central players. 

That includes Middleton's sheepish rare books dealer Edward Markham, who had several dealings with mainstays Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia Dunham (Ana Torv) during the series' tenure. Those appearances saw the actor serving up an often much needed helping of comic relief, with Middleton firing off quippy one-liners like confetti throughout. The character quite often plays a pivotal role in helping the Fringe team uncover some essential piece of intel, as well. With Middleton so wholly embodying the hubristic charms of Edward Markham, it's impossible to imagine another actor in the role.  

Middleton played Budd's beer-guzzling bud in Kill Bill Vol. 2

Though many of Clark Middleton's most memorable performances came in the small screen realm, he was a regular presence on the big screen as well. In fact, Middleton had the honor of working with cinematic stalwarts such as Richard Linklater ("$5.15/Hour"), Ang Lee ("Taking Woodstock"), Alejandro G. Iñárritu ("Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance"), Robert Rodriguez ("Sin City"), and Bong Joon Ho ("Snowpiercer") over the course of his career. However, ehile Middleton delivered solid performances in each of those films, his brief turn as a snarky, sadistic, beer-slurping baddie in the second volume of Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" series is easily among his most memorable. 

That's hardly a surprise, as Middleton is just one of those fringe actor types Tarantino enjoys not only putting the spotlight on, but bringing the best out of. And it turns out, Tarantino actually wrote Middleton's "Kill Bill Vol. 2" scene specifically with the actor in mind (via Absolute Music Chat).

That scene comes relatively early in "Kill Bill Vol. 2," not long after Michael Madsen's wily loner Budd has outwitted and captured Uma Thurman's heroine The Bride. In seeking to dispatch with his foe, Budd enlists the aid of his backwoods buddy Ernie to help bury her alive. Before they do so, the duo take a despicable sort of pleasure in chauvinistically taunting the hog-tied woman. And it's safe to say Middleton has never been quite as devilishly vile on screen as he is here.