Michael K. Williams, known for his role of Omar Little on “The Wire”, has died at age 54. The New York Police Department confirmed to Variety and The New York Post that the actor was found dead in his Brooklyn penthouse afternoon on Monday, September 6.
Williams, who also had other memorable roles like Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire,” was a regular on many other acclaimed HBO Series, including “The Night Of” and “Lovecraft Country." For his work in the latter he is currently in contention as best supporting actor in the 2021 Emmy Awards, which will be celebrated this September, 19.
According to the New York Post, citing law-enforcement sources, it’s suspected that the cause of death was a heroin overdose. Williams was discovered unconscious in the dining room with what appeared to be the rest of the drug. For now, neither his family or friends have commented about it.
Michael K. Williams, an acclaimed actor
Williams also acted in acclaimed films including “Inherent Vice,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Road”. For his work, he obtained Emmy nods for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his work in “When They See Us,” “The Night Of” and “Bessie.”
HBO said in a statement, “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael KennethWilliams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years. 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 been open about his personal struggles with drugs through the years. The actor told NPR in 2016 that he once stumbled into a church in New Jersey desperately seeking help for his addiction. He also mentioned that working in “The Wire”, in which his character robs drug dealers, affected him in real life.