Windell D. Middlebrooks, a comedian and actor best known for a series of Miller High Life commercials that attempted to give the well-known beer brand a blue-collar, populist appeal, has died at the age of 36, his family announced Monday.
“The Middlebrooks, with sorrowed hearts, announce the passing of a young, black star,’ the actor’s family said in a statement. ‘Windell took his final bow and with great joy exited stage left in the early morning of March 9, 2015. It was Windell’s biggest wish that his final scene not be lived on social media. Further details will be forthcoming once the family members’ plans have been finalized.’ “
While police have not yet specified a cause of death for Middlebrooks, they have said that foul play is not currently suspected.
Though his role as a straight-talking deliveryman who confiscates Miller High Life beer from anyone he considers pretentious, inauthentic, or otherwise unworthy of the “high life” made Middlebrooks a nationally known face, if not name. He appeared on numerous TV shows, mostly in comedic supporting roles, dating back to The Bernie Mac Show in 2005.
Born on January 8, 1979, in Fort Worth, Texas, according to his biography on The Internet Movie Database, Windell Middlebrooks — often credited using his middle initial “D” for Dwain — was also featured in recurring roles on Scrubs and The Suite Life On Deck.
Most recently, he held a regular, starring role on the ABC medical/crime drama Body of Proof as a forensic medical examiner, Dr. Curtis Brumfield. Middlebrooks appeared in all 42 episodes of the series, which aired from 2011 to 2013.
According to media reports of his death, Middlebrooks was found unconscious Monday morning in his home in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. He was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital, but pronounced dead there.
His series of “Take Back The High Life” Miller High Life commercials were intended to depict Miller as “a David against the Anheuser-Busch Goliath,” according to AdWeek Magazine.
The ads relied on the no-nonsense, straight talk of the delivery man portrayed by Windell Middlebrooks, who in one particularly well-received commercial, expressed disgust at a restaurant that charged $11.50 for a hamburger, demanding that the restaurant give back all of the Miller High Life beer that had earlier been delivered there.
In the above commercial, Windell D. Middlebrooks as the “Miller High Life Guy” invades the corporate sky box at a big league baseball game, and when he discovers that no one in the box is paying any attention to the action on the field, he collects all of their Miller High Life and leaves.
[Image: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images]