Michael K. Williams: 5 Things About ‘The Wire’ Star Tragically Dead At 54

Police confirmed the death of actor Michael K. Williams to HL in a statement. Learn more about 'The Wire' star here.

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Michael K. Williams has passed away at the age of 54. The actor was best known for his long running role on HBO’s The Wire, which he starred on from 2002 – 2008. Police confirmed to HollywoodLife that Michael was found in his living room in New York City on Sept. 6, 2021.

“We responded to his residence at 440 Kent Ave. at 2pm. He was found deceased in his living room. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death,” Lt. John Grimpel of NYP’s Media Relations Department said via email. Learn more about Michael here.

He starred on ‘The Wire’

Michael played Omar Little on the popular HBO Series. The character was known to be a ‘stick up’ man in the city of Baltimore who targeted street-level drug dealers. “Mike is a beautiful man, but a gangster he is not,” Williams reflected on his character back in 2015.

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams was best known for his role on ‘The Wire.’ (Matt Baron/Shutterstock)

He’s been open about past drug use

Michael revealed that he used drugs during his years on The Wire, particularly around the second and third season. “Around the second – more like third season of The WireI was on drugs, and I was in jeopardy of destroying everything that I had worked so hard for,” he said on NPR. “And I came in those doors [at Christian Love Baptist Church, a church that bordered Newark in Irvington, N.J.], and I met a man who had never even heard of The Wire, much less watched it… He said, I’m going to go get you a Bible, man. You could keep that. And we going to spend the rest of this day,” he said of late Reverend Ronald Christian.

He was on other popular shows

In addition to The Wire, he also appeared as Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire, as well as playing Freddy Knight in The Night Of and gay rights activist Ken Jones in When We Rise.

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams is seen in HBO’s ‘Bad Robot’. (Robot/HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock)

He was a NYC native

Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York on Nov. 22, 1966. He got his start as a back-up dancer for Madonna and George Michael before transitioning to acting.

He was an Emmy nominee

Michael received Emmy nominations for his roles in two other HBO shows: first for Bessie, followed by The Night Of.