‘The Wire’ Star Michael K. Williams Dead At Age 54


Michael K. Williams, an Emmy-nominated actor known for taking on roles of complicated characters in gritty television series like “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire,” has died at age 54.

Key Facts

Williams’ team confirmed to Forbes that Williams died Monday.

New York City police confirmed to NBC News they responded to Williams’ apartment in Brooklyn at 2 p.m. Monday, where they found him dead.

NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.


Williams’ death was mourned by family and friends like actor Wendell Pierce, who acted opposite Williams on “The Wire.” On Monday, Pierce his friend an “immensely talented man” whose acting roles shone a light on “the human condition” of people “whose humanity is seldom elevated.”

Key Background

Williams is best known for his breakout role as Omar Little, a witty Baltimore drug dealer with a strong moral code on HBO’s “The Wire,” which began filming in 2002. Little is considered by many to be one of the most compelling characters in television history. Williams also starred on the network’s “Boardwalk Empire” for five seasons as Chalky White, a Prohibition-era crime syndicate leader. He also acted in “When They See Us,” a drama centered on the Central Park Five, and “Bessie,” in which Williams played American blues singer Bessie Smith’s first husband opposite Queen Latifah. Most recently, Williams appeared on “Lovecraft Country,” which earned him a 2021 Emmy Award nomination for outstanding supporting actor.

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