Actor Michael K. Williams, Most Famously Known as Omar on ‘The Wire,’ Dead at 54

Now, this one really hits hard! It’s not every day an actor resonates with so much power on the screen that you are immediately absorbed by their performance. Micheal K. Williams was one such actor. He had us all mesmerized as Omar Little.

I have been greatly enjoying the string of recent projects he’s been working on and was extremely excited to see where his career was going to take him. I am deeply saddened to report that he has left us way too soon at such a young age, in the prime of his career.

Here’s the full press release from AP news.

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most popular characters in television in recent decades, died Monday.

Williams was found dead Monday afternoon 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.

Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most beloved character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

The Brooklyn-born Williams was also a ubiquitous character actor in other shows and films for more than two decades, including roles on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and “Lovecraft Country,” and in the films “12 Years a Slave” and “Assassin’s Creed.”

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. 

A cigarette in his mouth, he would whistle “The Farmer in the Dell” to ominously announce his arrival. 

And he spoke many of the show’s most memorable lines, including, “a man gotta have a code” and “all in the game yo, all in the game.”

The character also broke TV ground as an openly gay man whose sexuality wasn’t central to his role.

Williams appeared in all five seasons of “The Wire” from 2002 to 2008, his character growing in prominence with each season.

Published by Mercedes

Mercedes Diane Griffin Forbes (Diane Griffin) is the primary contributor to DG Speaks​, and the Founder of the Mercedes Parra Foundation​ for Women and Girls. She is an internationally recognized expert in marketing and micro-enterprise development with over fifteen years experience in the US, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Working in the areas of international development, education, and public policy, her career is focused on promoting gender equity, sustainable economic growth, and positive social development.

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