‘The Wire’ actor Michael K. Williams found dead in Williamsburg apartment


Actor Michael K. Williams has died, according to law enforcement.

The actor famous for his portrayal of Omar Little in HBO’s “The Wire” was found dead inside his Kent Avenue apartment in Williamsburg on Monday afternoon, according to police. 

The actor’s nephew found Williams, 54, in his living room with drug paraphernalia, hinting at a possible overdose, reported the New York Post.

Police could not confirm that report, but said he was found around 2 pm on Sept. 6 at his home near S. Ninth Street by a family member. 

Along with his famous role in The Wire, Williams was also best known for his portrayal of gangster Chalky White on the HBO Prohibition drama “Boardwalk Empire.” He won three Emmys for his roles in a trio of television movies including “Bessie” in 2015, “The Night Of” in 2016 and “When They See Us” in 2019. 

Williams was a Brooklyn native who grew up in the Vanderveer Houses in Flatbush and graduated from George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. He was also a prominent member of the National Black Theatre.

Quickly, mourners took to social media to express their sorrow at Williams’ death.

“Brooklyn is mourning one of its native sons. Michael K. Williams was a generational talent and a tireless advocate for social justice,” tweeted Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “As Omar in The Wire, he once said ‘sometimes who you are is enough.’ Michael was always unabashedly himself — and he will be deeply missed.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, referencing Williams’ highly-publicized efforts to advocate for criminal justice reform, lauded the late actor for trying to “fix and often broken world.” 

“Michael K. Williams tried to fix an often broken world. He was generous, kind and stood with those fighting for justice. His work, particularly his role in ‘The Wire,’ was unforgettable and in its own way, life-affirming.”

Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries added his condolences, and praised Williams’ attachment to the community where he grew up. 

“Thankful for his artistic brilliance, big heart, and fierce effort to give back to the underserved communities from whence he came,” the legislator said. “Rest in Power my brother.” 

A version of this story first appeared on amNewYork.