Actor Michael K. Williams dies aged 54
Michael K. Williams, best known for his roles in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, has died at the age of 54.
Williams has found dead yesterday (September 6th) at his apartment in New York. His cause of death has yet to be formally confirmed.
Born in 1966 in Brooklyn and raised in the Vanderveer Projects in East Flatbush, Williams initially found work as a dancer for the likes of Missy Elliot, Ginuwine, Crystal Waters, George Michael and Madonna, all the while working in theatre in New York's vibrant off-Broadway fringe.
After a few years of low-key roles in films and TV, Williams' break came in 2002 when he was cast as Omar Little, the enigmatic criminal with a strict model code, in HBO's hit series The Wire.
From there Williams' career went from strength to strength with prominent roles in films like Gone Baby Gone, The Road, Brooklyn's Finest, Snitch, 12 Years A Slave, Inherent Vice, Triple 9, Ghostbusters and Motherless Brooklyn.
He also continued a successful TV career, with key roles in both Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country.
Many of Williams' fellow actors have paid tribute to him and a section are included below:
We have lost another irreplaceable actor. RIP Michael K.Williams. You were too young to leave us- we were looking forward to so many more great performances. Thoughts with family and friends ♥️ pic.twitter.com/DwQaZDfzB7— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) September 7, 2021
The loss of Michael K. Williams is just heartbreaking. One of our great actors.— John Lithgow (@JohnLithgow) September 7, 2021
The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. A immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth. pic.twitter.com/EvrESGSK8O— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) September 6, 2021
“There is a certain immortality involved in theater, not created by monuments and books, but through the knowledge an actor keeps to his dying day that on a certain afternoon, in an empty and dusty theater, he cast the shadow of a being that was not himself……. pic.twitter.com/wcuOb58cnu— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) September 6, 2021
“but the distillation of all that he had ever observed; all the unsingable heart song the ordinary man may feel but never utter, he gave voice to. And by that somehow joins the ages.— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) September 6, 2021
Mike…….you joined the ages.
Farewell my friend,
Love Wendell pic.twitter.com/mrjtNWcIq5
I feel punched in gut to learn we’ve lost Michael K Williams. Soul anguished. Getting to work with him was one of the greatest privileges I’ve had in my career. My admiration for his talent was boundless, like so many. If he was in a scene he was the best thing about it. Period.— Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton) September 6, 2021
He had a really rare gift for being fully present in the moment & for conveying the layers under the words. He ran so deep. He was also kind & generously enthusiastic. I’ll be forever grateful that he graced ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ & that I got to share space & time w him. RIP💔— Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton) September 6, 2021