Over the weekend Hollywood lost another great actor Michael K Williams. Know for his haunting role as Omar Little in HBO’s hit series The Wire, Williams talent was undeniably iconic.
“The character of Omar thrusted me into the limelight,” he told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” in 2016. “I had very low self esteem growing up, a high need to be accepted, a corny kid from the projects. So all of a sudden, I’m like, Omar, yo, I’m getting respect from people who probably would have took my lunch money as a kid.”
He spoke in an Associated Press story in 2020 of his rough time growing up, and said he had struggled with drug addiction, which he had spoken frankly about in interviews in recent years.
He was found dead Monday afternoon in his Brooklyn penthouse by family members. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said.
In an AP article his Wire castmates paid tribute to Williams.
“The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” Wendell Pierce, who played Detective William “Bunk” Moreland and had many memorable scenes with Williams, said on Twitter. “An immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth.”
David Simon, who created the show and Williams’ character, said on Twitter that he was “Too gutted right now to say all that ought to be said. Michael was a fine man and a rare talent and on our journey together he always deserved the best words. And today those words won’t come.”
Isiah Whitlock Jr., who played crooked politician Clay Davis on “The Wire,” tweeted that Williams was “One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul.”
Actor John Cusack tweeted that his portrayal of Little was “Among the greatest performances tv and film has ever seen.”
Williams is also up for a primetime Emmy for his role in HBO’s Lovecraft Country.