Tributes and remembrances poured in from the entertainment world for Michael K. Williams after “The Wire” actor was found dead Monday in his New York City apartment.
Williams, 54, perhaps best known for his iconic role as gay stickup man Omar Little on HBO crime drama “The Wire” from 2002-2008, was found unresponsive in his penthouse apartment, the New York Post reported. His death is being investigated as a drug overdose.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” the actor’s representative told The Hollywood Reporter. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
In a lengthy thread on Twitter, Wendell Pierce, who played Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on “The Wire,” paid homage to his co-star.
“The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” Pierce wrote. “[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.”
Williams, a New York native, was also known for his role as gangster Albert “Chalky” White on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” as well as turns in “Lovecraft Country” and “When They See Us.”
“I remember the times you’d come on set even when you weren’t on the call sheet,” “When They See Us” creator Ava DuVernay wrote on Instagram. “Just to share a hug. To cheer us on. Strolling in like the King that you were. For just a flash to give some love – then gone. I remember nights out in NYC that summer and how you were so loved by the folks in your city. I remember our work on the work, always connected and communicating and excavating and building because you were so open and ready to give your all. I remember you sending me a picture of yourself as a young man and sharing with me that the boys whose story we were telling were a reflection of you — and we were going to get it right.”
Williams reflected on a “difficult” part of his life in a July 2016 NPR interview.
“I was broken,” Williams said of the time he spent filming season three of “The Wire,” Us Weekly reported. “I was on drugs, and I was in jeopardy of destroying everything that I had worked so hard for. And I came in [those church] doors, and I met a man who had never even heard of ‘The Wire,’ much less watched it.
“He was somewhere else in the Bronx preaching at another church when I first went there,” he continued. “And he stopped everything he was doing, ran back to New Jersey just because his team at the church told him that someone … was in trouble and needed to speak to him. He never judged. You know, he just nudged.”