Emmy-nominated actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his role on the Baltimore-based HBO series “The Wire,” has died, a New York police spokesperson confirmed Monday. He was 54.
Police said they responded to Williams’ apartment in Brooklyn at 2 p.m. Monday and found him dead.
It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” a rep for the actor’s family told THR. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this insurmountable loss.”
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Drug paraphernalia was reportedly found Williams’ apartment, according to the New York Post and Daily News. Williams since the age of 19 had battled addiction.
“People didn’t even call me Mike, they called me Omar,” he once said of the conflation of him and Wire stickup man Omar Little, who oft is regarded as one of TV’s greatest characters ever. “That mixed with my identity crisis and my addiction — and it was not a good mix. I had to stop trying to be Omar and just be Mike.”
In addition to his five-season run on The Wire, Williams’ many TV credits included Boardwalk Empire (as racketeer Chalky White), Community, The Spoils Before Dying, The Night Of, When We Rise, Hap and Leonard, When They See Us and voice work on F Is for Family.
Michael K Williams Lovecraft CountryWilliams is currently Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his role as Lovecraft Country‘s Montrose Freeman. He previously earned Emmy nods for his acting in When They See Us, The Night Of and the 2015 TV-movie Bessie.
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years,” reads a statement from the cabler. “While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael 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.”
Williams had just been cast in an untitled biopic of boxing great George Foreman