Michael K. Williams was found dead at his home in Brooklyn over Labor Day weekend. His body was discovered by his nephew in his New York City apartment on Monday afternoon with no foul play suspected.
An overdose is suspected, as the investigators also found drug paraphernalia near his body. The investigation is ongoing to discover the actual cause of death.
In a press release, his long-time rep Marianna Shafran maintained that the family would want to mourn their loss privately.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss,” he told a Hollywood Reporter.
Tributes to Williams
Tributes have been pouring in since the news broke out on social media. Several friends spoke about his unique acting ability on screen and the great man he was off screen.
“Michael K Williams was a beautiful, passionate, expansive soul. I felt so lucky to have known him, and we were all so fortunate to have enjoyed his incredible talent,” Aisha Tyler tweeted. “He burned so very bright.”
Another Friend, Movie Director James Gunn also passed on his condolence.
“Michael K Williams, in addition to being one of the most talented actors around, was also one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I’ve ever met.
This is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”
His death was particularly painful for Musician Saul Williams who many assumed to be his brother.
“For years Wikipedia listed Michael K. Williams as my brother. Neither one of us chose to correct it, instead, we took it at its word. ‘We’re brothers, yo.’ He shared poems with me. We broke bread & kicked it whenever we could. A deep & sincere connection. A beautiful spirit.” He wrote.
Condolence posts also came from several of Williams’ co-stars on The Wire, with many still surprised that they will not get the chance to see him anymore.
“The Wire” co-star Isiah Whitlock Jr. tweeted that he was gutted by his demise.
“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,” he wrote.
Another “The Wire” co-star, Wendell Pierce, tweeted about his pain.
“The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. A 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,” he wrote.
Williams was really loved by many!
Williams, who was born in Brooklyn in November 1966, started out as a professional dancer and has appeared in more than 50 music videos according to Tv guide.
Thereafter, he had more minor roles in “The Sopranos” and “Law & Order” before he landed his breakout performance as Omar Little in “The Wire,” a shotgun-wielding character who made his living robbing drug dealers.
The show aired from 2002 to 2008 and brought him critical acclaim from critics and viewers.
Williams went on to appear in so many other movies such as “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Night Of,” “When They See Us,” “The Road,” “Inherent Vice,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “12 Years a Slave,” “When We Rise,” and “Hap and Leonard.”
The unreleased films “892” and “Surrounded” will mark his final performances on the big stage.
Awards and Acclaim
Altogether, the versatile actor has more than 100 film credits to his name.
He has garnered five Emmy nominations in his four decades-plus careers. His first was in 2015 for his role in “Bessie” and another followed two years later for his part in “The Night Of.”
His last recent Emmy nomination came from a horror drama series on HBO, “Lovecraft Country.”
The awards he won in his career includes two NAMIC Vision, one OFTA television, two Black Reel, and one Gold Derby award.
Williams was recently cast to act in Sony’s George Foreman biopic as Charles “Doc” Broadus, the legendary heavyweight champ’s longtime friend, trainer, and mentor.
Alas, life would deal him a different hand. RIP Williams.