Michael K Williams, best known for his role as Omar Little on HBO’s “The Wire,” has died. He was 54. Williams was found dead in his New York City apartment Monday afternoon, a law enforcement official told CNN.
Investigators found drug paraphernalia near his body, the official said. The investigation is ongoing, according to another law enforcement source who spoke to CNN. “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 unsurmountable loss,” his long-time rep Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR told The Hollywood Reporter.
Williams, a Brooklyn native, most recently appeared in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” and the series “F Is for Family.”
He became a household name after his role in “The Wire” as Omar Little, a shotgun-wielding character who made his living robbing drug dealers. He went on to appear on HBO Prohibition-era mob drama “Boardwalk Empire,” and most recently earned an Emmy nomination for “Lovecraft Country.”
Williams was slated to co-star in Sony’s George Foreman biopic from George Tillman Jr, who was set to direct.
Williams garnered a number of accolades during his incredible career, including five Emmy nominations. His first was in 2015 for his role in “Bessie” and another followed two years later for his part in “The Night Of.” He was also the winner of a SAG Award for best ensemble with the cast of “Boardwalk Empire.”
The death of Michael K Williams prompted an outpouring of grief, tributes, and disbelief from his co-stars, colleagues and fans across the world. Isiah Whitlock Jr, who worked with Williams on The Wire, tweeted that he was “Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams.” He added, “One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul.”
Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams. One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul.May you RIP. God bless.— Isiah Whitlock Jr. (@IsiahWhitlockJr) September 6, 2021
The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. A 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. pic.twitter.com/EvrESGSK8O— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) September 6, 2021
“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,” Aisha Tyler wrote on Twitter. “He burned so very bright.”
Director James Gunn added: “Michael K Williams, in addition to being one of the most talented actors around, was also one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I’ve ever met. This is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”
Wendell Pierce, another Wire castmate, wrote, “The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. A 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.”