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Author Topic: Michael K. Williams, ‘The Wire’ & Boardwalk Empire Actor, Dies at 54

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Michael K. Williams, best known for his role as Baltimore stick-up man Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire , has died, his rep told The Hollywood Reporter . He was 54.

“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 insurmountable loss,” his longtime rep, Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR, said.

Williams was found in his Brooklyn home on Monday afternoon , a New York Police Department rep told THR . No cause of death was immediately available.

More recently, Williams portrayed Montrose Freeman on HBO’s Lovecraft Country , for
outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, and When They See Us ‘ Bobby McCray, the father of Antron McCray, who convinced his son to sign a false confession.

The frequent HBO star also played racketeer Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire .

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years,” a statement from the network said. “While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss.”

Michael Kenneth Williams was born in Brooklyn on Nov. 22, 1966. His mother was from the Bahamas and his father, Booker, was from South Carolina. He was raised in the Vanderveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in the borough.”

Growing up, I got picked on a lot,” he told Time magazine in 2017 . “I was the corny one. I was not popular with the ladies. In a very alpha-male community, being sensitive is not considered a quality.”

He excelled in street dancing and worked on tours fronted by the likes of George Michael and Madonna before pursuing acting with the National Black Theatre in New York City, and he made his onscreen debut in Bullet (1996), starring Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur.

The rapper had seen a photo of Williams — who had a prominent facial scar from a fight in Queens on his 25th birthday — and helped him get hired to play his brother in the film.

Williams guest-starred on episodes of such shows as The Sopranos , Alias and Boston Legal before landing on The Wire in 2002. He would appear on 42 episodes before Omar met end in the fifth and final season.

“Omar became an alter ego,” he said. “A gay man who doesn’t like fancy clothes or fancy cars, doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t even curse and robs the most gangster drug dealers in the community. He’s an outcast, and I identified with that immensely. Instead of using it as a tool to maybe heal myself, I hid behind that. Nobody was calling Michael in the streets. Everything was Omar, Omar, Omar. I mistook that admiration. It felt good. But it wasn’t for me. It was for a fictional character. When that show ended, along with that character, I was clueless about how to deal with that. I crumbled.”

Source: NewsBreak App

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