Michael K. Williams, an Emmy-nominated actor who brought his talent and flair to HBO’s crime series The Wire was found dead of a suspected overdose at his Williamsburg apartment.
Williams was known for playing fearsome Baltimore drug thief Omar Little, a character famed for his murderous outbursts and chilling whistle.
Despite his on-screen success, the 54-year actor, who also appeared in Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country, struggled privately with drug addiction.
In 2004 Williams fell into cocaine addiction, which led to him disappearing for days to go on coke binges.
Williams is currently nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Montrose Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft County.
As details of the star’s tragic death continue to unfold, let’s take a look at the circumstances of how of his sudden passing.
How did Michael K Williams die?
The Wire’ actor Michael K. Williams was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in his Brooklyn penthouse Monday afternoon, law-enforcement sources revealed.
Williams was discovered unconscious in the dining room of his luxury Williamsburg pad with what appeared to be heroin on the kitchen table, sources said.
His nephew is reported to have discovered his uncle around 2pm Eastern time, and the acclaimed TV star was officially pronounced dead at 2:12pm, a source said — adding that it appeared Williams had fatally overdosed.
“I found the body,” said a weeping man at the scene, talking into his cell phone.
A witness saw the man sat alone at a table outside the building, visibly upset as the City Medical Examiner’s Office was at the building, and eight NYPD cops were outside.
“No foul play indicated,” a police source said. “No forced entry, the apartment was in order.”
The five-time Emmy nominee had been open about his personal struggles with drugs through the years, saying that getting so into the role of Little, who robs drug dealers on The Wire, affected him in real life. The acclaimed actor told NPR in 2016 that he once stumbled into a church in New Jersey desperately seeking help for his addiction.
Reflecting on his time on the show, he previously said: “I suffered from a huge identity crisis. But when I look at the characters, I got to exorcise my demons, a lot.
“In the end, I was more comfortable with Omar’s skin than my own. That was a problem.”
Tributes continue to pour in for the actor in the wake of his sudden death.
Fellow Wire cast mate Isiah Whitlock Jr. wrote: “Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K. Williams. One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart.
“An amazing actor and soul. May you RIP. God bless.”
Another user wrote: “RIP to the man who made Omar Little one of the greatest characters in television history. Anyone who watched Michael K. Williams act was better for the experience.”
A third fan said: “We lost a great one. Rest in peace, Michael K. Williams.”
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