Michael K. Williams, an actor best known for his role as Omar Little on HBO’s “The Wire,” has died. 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.
In a 2017 interview with the New York Times, Michael K. Williams spoke openly about his struggles with substance abuse. “Addiction doesn’t go away,” he said at the time. “It’s an everyday struggle for me, but I’m fighting.” Williams, a Brooklyn native, most recently appeared in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” and the series “F Is for Family.” He became an almost iconic figure for many thanks to his role in “The Wire” as Omar Little, a shotgun-wielding character who made his living robbing drug dealers. He followed that up as a mobster in the HBO Prohibition-era mob drama “Boardwalk Empire,” and most recently earned an Emmy nomination for another series on the pay network, the macabre “Lovecraft Country.”
Michael K. Williams was next slated to co-star in Sony’s George Foreman biopic from George Tillman Jr., who was set to direct. He amassed a number of accolades during his storied 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.” On social media, Williams’ many colleagues and friends recalled the depth, complexity, and humanity he brought to his characters on screen and, above all, the man he was off-screen.
“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,” HBO said in a statement. No official cause of death was given, but several US media quoted law enforcement sources as saying they suspected a possible drug overdose. Williams had spoken openly of his past struggles with drug addiction and had told US media that he had spent much of his earnings from “The Wire” on narcotics. He was struggling with his addiction and was trying hard to get away with the same. Many American actors in the recent past have complained about their addiction and it only increased during the lockdown.
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Michael K. Williams was a forever actor as his Charisma has charmed many and will be forever be remembered. An HBO favorite, he was a livewire on-screen and off-screen with an equally warm personality. He was media-friendly as he mostly answered all their questions even if they were personal. He took everything on his chin and moved forward. He was on many producers lists and if he was alive fans would have had a good piece of him. It’s unfortunate that he is no more and untimely death was invited only due to his addiction to drugs.