The Wire, Lovecraft Country, and Boardwalk Empire star Michael K. Williams has died at the age of 54.
As reported by New York Post, Williams was found in his Brooklyn penthouse today, September 6, and sources have said that “drug paraphernalia was found in the five-time Emmy nominee’s apartment, suggesting the acclaimed 54-year-old actor may have fatally OD’d, possibly from heroin or fentanyl.”
A police source confirmed there was “no foul play indicated” and “no forced entry.” Furthermore, it was said that “the apartment was in order.”
The Hollywood Reporter was given a statement by Williams’ rep Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR.
“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,” Shafran said.
Williams was perhaps best known for his role as Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire. In 2016, he spoke to NPR about his struggles with addiction, including during the filming of The Wire, which led him to a church in New Jersey in hopes he could get the help he needed.
“When I came through those doors, I was broken. … This was, I would say, around the … third season of ‘The Wire,’ ” Williams said. ““I was on drugs. … I was in jeopardy of destroying everything I had worked so hard for, and I came in those doors, and I met a man who had never even heard of ‘The Wire,’ much less watched it.”
Williams also played Albert “Chalky” White on Boardwalk Empire, Jack Gee on Bessie, and also appeared as a supporting actor in The Road, Inherent Vice, The Night Of, Gone Baby Gone, 12 Years a Slave, and much more.
He received three Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie nominations for his performance in Bessie, The Night Of, and When They See Us. He also gained his fifth career Emmy nomination for his work as Montrose Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
Williams was born in Brooklyn on November 22, 1966, and one of his first acting roles was acquired after he was discovered by Tupac Shakur. He played High Top, the brother to Shakur’s Tank.
Williams is survived by his mother.