Michael K Williams, widely known for his acting in HBO’s drama The Wire, was found dead in his New York apartment. He was 54 years old at the time.
He died of a suspected drug overdose, according to law enforcement sources in the United States. This has not been confirmed yet.
Michael K Williams, who was nominated for three Emmy Awards, had previously spoken frankly about his drug addiction.
He portrayed Omar Little, a gay, streetwise drug gang robber on The Wire.
He was well recognised for his role as Albert “Chalky” White, a strong gangster in the TV series Boardwalk Empire, set during the Prohibition era.
Police responded to Williams’ Brooklyn residence after receiving an emergency call at 14:00 local time on Monday, according to New York Police Department spokesman John Grimpel (18:00 GMT).
On social media, fellow actors and directors have paid tribute to him.
Wendell Pierce, a co-star on The Wire, tweeted, “The depth of my love for this brother can only be matched by the depth of my sadness learning of his passing.”
“A tremendously gifted man with the ability to convey the lives of folks whose humanity is rarely raised until he sings their truth,” Pierce added.
“Whenever he was in a scene, he was the best part of it.” “Period,” tweeted actor Edward Norton, who co-authored the 2019 picture Motherless Brooklyn with Williams.
“It’s awful to learn this.” Star Trek actor George Takei wrote, “We have lost an enormous talent in Michael K Williams.”
Williams was characterised by filmmaker James Gunn as one of the “most lovely beings I’ve ever encountered.”
“Michael K Williams, may you rest in peace.” He was taken from us far too soon. He was a man who taught me a lot. Thank you for your insight,” Damson Idris, a British actor, commented.
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years,” HBO said in a statement, referring to the 60 episodes of The Wire that aired between 2002 and 2008.
“While the world is aware of Michael’s enormous artistic talents, we knew him as a good friend who was adored by anyone who had the opportunity to work with him. We express our heartfelt sympathies to his family for their tragic loss.”
Williams, who was born in New York in 1966, began his career as a dancer, performing alongside Madonna and George Michael before transitioning to acting with groups such as the National Black Theatre Company.
“I believe it has stuck with people because it is still pertinent now, given the current state of affairs in the United States.” “It’s honestly a little depressing,” he admitted.
“It was the first show I saw that was created as ‘edutainment,’ as I call it.” It delved so deeply into what was wrong with our society, from the police force to our legislators to our educational system and the media. It reflected what was going on in our neighbourhood.”
Even when he was performing in The Wire, the actor had publicly disclosed his personal battles with drugs over the years.
In a 2012 interview with the news website NJ.com, he remarked, “I was playing with fire.”
“It was only a matter of time before I was caught, and my company was featured on the front page of a tabloid, or I was imprisoned – or worse,” Williams added.