- BBC News World
American actor Michael K. Williams, particularly known for the character of Omar Little on the series The Wire, was found dead on Monday in his New York apartment.
US media citing law enforcement sources say Williams’ death is suspected of being related to an overdose, but there is no official confirmation.
Williams, a three-time Emmy nominee, has spoken openly in the past about his drug problems.
On the HBO series The Wire, played Omar Little, a thief of traffickers, homosexual and with a strict moral code by which he never robs or threatens people who are not linked to the drug trade.
He was also known for playing Albert “Chalky” White, a powerful gangster, on the Prohibition era series. Boardwalk Empire.
Tributes and condolences
New York Police Department spokesman John Grimpel said police went to Williams’ Brooklyn apartment on Monday after receiving an emergency call at 2:00 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. GMT).
Actors and filmmakers have paid tribute to him on social media.
“The depth of my love for this brother can only be compared to the depth of my grief over his loss,” his colleague tweeted on The Wire Wendell Pierce.
“A very talented man with the ability to give a voice to the human condition by portraying the lives of those whose humanity is rarely elevated until he sings his truth,” added Pierce.
“This breaks my heart. We have lost a huge talent in Michael K. Williams,” the actor tweeted. Star Trek George Takei.
Filmmaker James Gunn described Williams as one of the “kindest souls” he ever met.
“Rest in Peace Michael K Williams You left too early. A man who taught me so much. Thank you for your wisdom,” wrote British actor Damson Idris.
In a statement, HBO, which aired 60 episodes of The Wire Between 2002 and 2008, he said: “We are devastated at the news of the death of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years.”
“As the world knows your immense talent as an artist, we met Michael as a dear friend who was loved by all who had the privilege of working with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss, “the text continues.
Dancer and actor
Born in New York in 1966, Williams began his career as a dancer and worked with Madonna and George Michael before moving on to acting, with companies such as the prestigious National Black Theater Company.
In an interview with the BBC in 2018, Williams explained why the success of The Wire.
“I think it stays with the people because it is still relevant, because of the climate of what is happening in the United States. I think it is actually a bit sad,” he observed.
“It was the first series I saw that was created as what I call ‘edutainment.’ It so honestly delved into what was wrong with our society, from the police department to legislators to our school system and the media. It represented what was happening in our community. “
The actor publicly admitted his personal drug problems over the years, including when he was acting in The Wire.
“I was playing with fire”he said in an interview with the NJ.com news portal in 2012.
“It was only a matter of time before they caught me and my subjects ended up on the cover of a tabloid or I went to jail … or worse,” he said.
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Michael K Williams: “The Wire” actor found dead in his New York apartment