Michael K. Williams, who portrayed the iconic Omar Little, in HBO’s “The Wire” has died. He was 54-years-old. Williams’ body was found in his New York City apartment Monday afternoon. No official cause of death has been made. But according to NYPD, drug paraphernalia was found near his body. An investigation is ongoing.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this insurmountable loss,” his longtime representative, Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Williams was a Brooklyn native. He recently appeared in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”, for which he received a 2021 Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series. He also starred in “Boardwalk Empire,” Ava DuVernay’s ‘When They See Us,” and “Bessie.” But his most memorable role was in “The Wire.”
Williams also starred in the movies, “Inherent Vice,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Road.”
His next project was a co-star appearance in Sony’s George Foreman biopic from George Tillman Jr., who was set to direct.
Tributes pour for Williams
The sudden news of his passing is sending aftershocks throughout Hollywood and the people he has touched.
Writer Shanita Hubbard tweeted, “It feels like my whole timeline is grieving Michael K Williams. You can feel legitimate loss behind every post/pic/story about him. These aren’t just the polite “thoughts and prayers” posts. There is a real sense of sadness. This says a lot about who he was.”
“Michael K Williams was a beautiful, passionate, expansive soul. I felt so lucky to have known him, and we were all so fortunate to have enjoyed his incredible talent. He burned so very bright,” director Aisha Tyler tweeted. She added, “You will forever be The King.”
Chance The Rapper tweeted, “A lot of people knew him as Omar, I knew him as Chalky. I’m sure his family knew him as Michael. Thanks for all you gave to encourage, enlighten and entertain people you didn’t even know. Praying for your people.”
Alec Baldwin called him a “startlingly raw and powerful actor.”
Poet and artist, Saul Williams tweeted, “For years Wikipedia listed Michael K. Williams as my brother. Neither one of us chose to correct it, instead, we took it at its word. “We’re brothers, yo.” He shared poems with me. We broke bread & kicked it whenever we could. A deep & sincere connection. A beautiful spirit.