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Michael K. Williams Found Dead at Age 54 — Fans Remember ‘The Wire’ Actor

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Highlights:

  • Michael K. Williams Found Dead at Age 54.
  • Williams gained recognition as an actor for his portrayal of Omar Little.
  • President Barack Obama called Omar his favorite TV character.

Michael K. Williams, known for his acting roles on The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and Lovecraft Country, was found dead in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn penthouse by his nephew on September 6, 2021. The cause of death is yet unconfirmed, but law enforcement officials found drug paraphernalia near his body, and he had spoken openly about his struggles with substance abuse.

Williams gained recognition as an actor for his portrayal of Omar Little in The Wire, which began filming in 2002. He received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations: three for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, one for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and one for Outstanding Informational Series.

The intensity of his roles often exacerbated his struggles with drugs, he explained in several interviews, and he said he was using cocaine both during the shooting of “The Wire” and “The Night Of.”

HBO said in a statement:

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years. While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael K. Williams as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss.”

Social media is flooded with clips of Omar Little, Williams‘s character on The Wire — the gay stick-up man who robbed drug dealers while whistling the tune to Elmer Fudd’s “A-Hunting We Will Go”— and memorable moments from his turn as Boardwalk Empire’s Chalky White.

Michael K. Williams co-stars, collaborators, and friends posted tributes to the star

Wendell Pierce tweet:
“The depth of my love for this brother can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. An immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth”.

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