Nathan Louis Jackson, Award-Winning Playwright and ‘Luke Cage’ Writer-Producer, Dies at 44

Nathan Louis Jackson, a writer-producer on Netflix’s “Luke Cage” and the playwright behind “Broke-ology,” died on Aug. 22 at his home in Lenexa, Ks. He was 44.

Jackson’s wife Megan Mascorro-Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter that her husband had dealt with heart issues and had undergone an aortic dissection in 2019.

Jackson was born on Dec. 4, 1978 and attended Kansas State University, where he first started writing plays. He later received his MFA in playwriting from the Juilliard School in New York City.

Jackson’s play “Broke-ology” premiered in 2008 at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts before opening at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center in October 2009. The play tells the story of a poor Black family in Kansas City and starred Wendell Pierce of “Suits” and “The Wire.” The Lincoln Center Theater website writes of the play, “Mr. Jackson’s work is reminiscent of Lorraine Hansberry in its true-to-life naturalism, and also of Carson McCullers in its quiet moments of emotional conflict.”

Pierce paid tribute to his friend and collaborator on X (formerly Twitter): “He was authentic, Black, insightful, down to earth, literary, uniquely creative, soulful, and a man comfortable in his KC roots. He was a friend who became my brother. I loved him. We last shared a birthday dinner with joy.”

Jackson’s other plays include “The Last Black Play,” “The Mancherios,” “Sticky Traps,” “Brother Toad” and “When I Come to Die.” He was a two-time recipient of the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award. He was also honored with the Mark Twain Comedy Playwriting Award and was given the Kennedy Center’s Gold Medallion.

In addition to writing for the stage, Jackson’s television credits include “Southland,” “Shameless,” “Luke Cage” and “13 Reasons Why.” Working on the popular Netflix series “Luke Cage,” based on the Marvel superhero from Harlem portrayed by Mike Colter, Jackson wrote two episodes and also served as co-producer and executive story editor.

Jackson’s family wrote in a statement to Playbill, “Jackson’s work often showcased his love for his hometown. Having lived and worked on both coasts, Nathan’s heart belonged in Kansas City. Nathan was especially passionate about bar-b-que and his Kansas City Chiefs. Jackson was a devoted supporter of the arts community within Kansas City.”

Jackson is survived by his wife Megan Mascorro-Jackson, his children Amaya and Savion Jackson, his mother Bessie Jackson, and siblings Ebony and Wardell Jackson.

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