RIP David Mills

I was checking out the Washington Post and saw a surprising and sad story.  Writer and executive producer David Mills passed away yesterday.

He died of a brain aneurysm in New Orleans while working on the set of his new HBO series Treme.

David Mills, Emmy-winning writer of police dramas, dies at 48

By Jacqueline Trescott and Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 31, 2010; 4:50 PM

David Mills, a Washington-born journalist and Emmy-winning television writer known for his work on gritty police dramas, died Tuesday in New Orleans, while working on the set of the upcoming HBO series “Treme,” his family and colleagues confirmed Wednesday. He was 48.

Mills, who grew up in Lanham and attended the University of Maryland, was also a staff writer for the Style section of The Washington Post in the early 1990s. He died of an apparent brain aneurysm while overseeing the day’s shooting of the “Treme” series, according to David Simon, Mills’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator.

“It happened very suddenly,” Simon said in an interview Wednesday. Sitting in a director’s chair, Mills “lost consciousness . . . slumped in the chair and never regained consciousness,” according to Simon, who was not on the set at the time but learned details from eyewitnesses.

As a script writer, Mills was attracted to the hard street life of America’s cities. With college newspaper friend Simon, Mills contributed to HBO’s acclaimed five-season drama “The Wire,” which used Baltimore a setting for a conversation about the disintegration of U.S. inner cities. Mills also wrote for NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” a series based on Simon’s book.

Mills was executive producer of Simon’s “The Corner,” a precursor to “The Wire” focused on a drug-infested corner of Baltimore.

“He was a very good listener,” Simon said. “He was great at dialogue because he listened to people. He often seemed to be not engaged when he was very engaged. He was quite a shy person in a lot of ways.”

“Treme,” set to debut April 11, begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina. HBO said it follows musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians as they try to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the hurricane and the levee failure that caused the near-death of the city.

Before writing for television, David worked at the Washington Post and the Washington Times.  He also wrote for the Diamondback newspaper while he was a student at the University of Maryland.

Treme is scheduled to premiere on HBO on Sunday April 11.

I’m a huge fan of David’s work including The Wire, Homicide:  Life on the Street and The Corner.

You can read more about David Mills at the Washington Post and NOLA.com.

RIP David Mills.

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