After Brave Struggle Against Cancer, Granville Adams AKA Zahir Passes Away At 57

TV actor Granville Adams has passed away following a battle with cancer. “OZ” executive producer Tom Fontana confirmed the passing on Instagram.

Although “OZ” ran from 1997 to 2003, its cast and crew remain close up until today. In fact, it was Fontana and actor Dean Winters who launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Adams pay for his hospital bills as he was unable to work due to his illness.

In December 2020, Adams himself announced his diagnosis on Instagram when he showed a picture of himself in a hospital bed. Since then, fans have shared their concern by donating to his GoFundMe campaign and sharing sweet messages on his social media accounts.

The fundraising campaign raised a total of $99,882, much more than the goal of raising $69,550 to pay for his treatment. In the campaign description, Fontana wrote about Adams’ diagnosis and his struggle to pay for the bills.

The producer himself donated $10,000 to the fundraiser, while another co-star of Adams, J.K. Simmons, contributed $5000. “Lost” star Harold Perrineau and his wife Brittany donated $2000.

By February 2021, Fontana announced that they would keep the fundraising page open given that the amount raised is still less than what they actually needed to cover his bills. Unfortunately, eight months later, he succumbed to the illness.

Adams was on the hit show “OZ” from 1997 to 2003. He also starred on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street” from 1996 to 1999. Because of his well-loved shows, fans and colleagues alike stormed the internet after finding out about his passing.

Since [Acevedo and Adams’] dressing rooms were side by side, they decided to tear down the wall so they’d have one large room to themselves. 

In 2007, Adams was arrested on criminally negligent homicide charges after an argument saw a man plummeting down an elevator shaft. The victim, Orlando Valle, was out celebrating his 35th birthday when he got into an argument with the actor.

Police reports claim Adams pushed the victim against the sixth-floor elevator doors. The impact was so strong that the doors opened and the victim fell into the shaft. After falling four floors, he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Adams claims he acted on self-defense and threw Valle off of his back. He was released on bail and faced up to four years in prison. The nightclub, BED New York, closed down after the incident.

At the time of the incident, “OZ” representatives told the media that they had no associations with Adams since the end of their show. Since then, however, they’ve opened their doors and tried to help the actor as much as they could as he battled cancer.

Fontana announced Adams’ death on social media, sharing a photo of himself in a knitted bonnet. In the caption, he wrote a short yet sweet message, reading:

“Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to they rest #granvilleadams #oz”


Adams is not the first “OZ” actor to die at a young age. Craig Grant, who also featured in all six seasons of the hit drama, passed away from natural causes at 52 earlier this year. Not only was Grant a successful actor, but he was also a poet.

According to his representatives, there was no foul play in his death, and he indeed died of natural causes. They also expressed their grief over his loss.


His representatives from Ellipsis Entertainment Group, Headline Talent Agency, and Ellis Talent Group released a joint statement at the time, revealing that they saw the actor more as a friend than a client, which was a testament to his caring and friendly nature.

Aside from “OZ,” Grant was known as “muMs” during the days he would perform on slam poetry stages. It was his poetic talents that landed him the role of Arnold “Poet” Jackson during his six seasons with “OZ.”

Following the deaths of Grant and Adams, one person who made sure to pay tribute to both of them was their co-star Kirk Acevedo. Like his colleagues, he is best known for his portrayal of Miguel Alvarez on “OZ.”

During Grant’s passing, Acevedo called him “brother,” sharing that they spent a lot of time with one another on set. He added that he has so many amazing stories he could share about his co-star.

Likewise, Acevedo also called Adams his brother on his social media tribute to him. He shared that he doesn’t do well with loss, because he is “unfamiliar with it.”

He then assured his late friend that they will be reunited one day, but for now, he asked Adams to “rest easy.” In additional tributes, he also shared that since their dressing rooms were side by side, they decided to tear down the wall so they’d have one large room to themselves.

According to Acevedo, they would bond over their PlayStation and had a bar and a fridge that had all their favorites. In fact, PlayStation even threw them a party in the Hamptons during one 4th of July weekend.

The actor reminisced even further, saying that during the party, he pushed Adams into the pool with his clothes on and his phone still in his pocket. They then played basketball, where their other friend, Harold Perrineau, got injured and popped his Achilles.

Despite the incident, Acevedo and Adams assured Perrineau that he was good, and they continued to drink together during the weekend. He had nothing but good things to say about Adams, and reminiscing their fun days seemed like the best way to pay tribute to his friend.


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