The actor was best known for his role as Omar Little in the HBO series, and also starred in Boardwalk Empire
Michael K Williams, who played Omar Little in the television series The Wire, died at the age of 54.
Michael K Williams agent confirmed his death to the Hollywood Reporter, saying, “With great sadness, the family announces the loss of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams.”
They want your privacy as they grieve this unfathomable loss.”
Williams, who was thought to have died at his home in New York, was best known for his role as Albert “Chalky” White in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, which he played from 2010 to 2014.
He was nominated for an Emmy earlier this year for his part as Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country, and he had previously featured in films such as 12 Years a Slave and Inherent Vice. https://twitter.com/BKBMG
‘A new millennium Greek tragedy’…
Season one of The Wire starred Michael B Jordan, Tray Chaney, Larry Gilliard Jr, and JD Williams.
‘We tore the lid off a city and revealed the American ideal was gone,’ says The Wire ten years later.
Michael K Williams was also nominated for three Primetime Emmys for his work on the HBO series The Night Of, the TV film Bessie, and Ava DuVernay’s miniseries When They See Us, in addition to Lovecraft Country.
Michael K Williams was characterized by Isiah Whitlock Jr, who portrayed Senator Davis on The Wire, as “one of the sweetest brothers on the world with the greatest heart.”
An great performer with a beautiful soul.”
“The depth of my love for this brother can only be equaled by the depth of my sorrow learning of his loss,” Wendell Pierce, who portrayed Detective Bunk Moreland on the series, stated.
An very gifted guy with the capacity to depict the human predicament via the lives of people whose humanity is seldom raised until he sings their truth.”
Michael K Williams was hailed as a “God damn genius, a black gay legend who challenged the notions of black masculinity at a time when it wasn’t easy, and a really wonderful guy” by comedian Travon Free.
“This is a tremendous loss.”
Williams had “a quiet intensity” and “extended the image of what a same-gender loving guy looked like in the parts he performed,” according to April Reign, the creator of the #oscarssowhite movement.
Michael K Williams began his career as a dancer, working with musicians such as George Michael, Missy Elliot, Ginuwine, and Madonna. He was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to a Bahamian mother and an American father.
One of his first acting jobs was in the 1996 film Bullet, where he co-starred in with Tupac Shakur.
In 2018, he told the Associated Press, “I was furious and I had a lot of energy.”
“It was a wonderful outlet.
I wasn’t the greatest dancer by a by shot, but I was unquestionably the most enthusiastic.
I’ve always been a high-energy person.
You could always tell if I was in sync with the other men or not.”
Michael K Williams gained widespread recognition for his role as Omar Little in the Baltimore-set criminal thriller The Wire, which ran from 2002 to 2008.
Michael K Williams represented an openly homosexual stickup guy who had never been shown on television before, and who drew the attention of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, who stated Little was “not my favorite person” but “my favorite character in the series.”
For his role, he was nominated for the NAACP Image Awards twice.
Michael K Williams told the Guardian in 2015 that after the popularity of The Wire, he had struggled to adapt to reality and had adopted the character of Omar “as a way of escape.”
I no longer use my work to define myself: it is what I do, not who I am.
That’s what I’ve realized now.”
Michael K Williams has contributed to Vice News stories, including a feature on imprisonment in the United States.
He’d also been collaborating with a New Jersey nonprofit on a project to make it easier for ex-prisoners to reintegrate into society.
As word of Williams’ passing spread, members of the film business paid homage to him on social media.
“Too heartbroken right now to say everything that needs to be said,” David Simon, creator of The Wire, wrote on Twitter.
Michael was a wonderful guy with a unique skill, and he always earned the highest praise throughout our time together.
And those words aren’t coming today.”
Actor John Cusack described Williams as “an incredibly brilliant artist” who gave “among the finest performances TV and cinema has ever seen” in his depiction of Omar Little.
“Michael K Williams had a lovely, passionate, wide soul,” actress Aisha Tyler remarked.
I myself myself fortunate to have met him, and we all counted ourselves fortunate to have seen his tremendous skill.
He shone like a diamond.”
Williams had just finished filming 892 with John Boyega, and it was announced in August that he will portray Charles “Doc” Broadus, George Foreman’s coach, in a forthcoming biopic of the former heavyweight boxing champion.
Elijah Williams, Williams’ son, survives him.