Actor Michael K. Williams dies at 54
NEW YORK — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The
Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday.
Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New
York City police said. He was 54.
His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner
was investigating the cause of death.
Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.
Williams was also a ubiquitous character actor in other shows and films for more than two decades, creating another classic character as Chalky White in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” from 2010 to 2014, and appearing in the films “12 Years a Slave” and “Assassin’s Creed.” He is up for an Emmy for his role in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” A win at the Sept. 19 ceremony would be his first in four nominations.
As Little, he played a criminal with a strict moral code, known for taking advantage of a reputation for brutality that wasn’t always real.