Widely revered actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his role in HBO’s classic series, The Wire, has died at the age of 54 reports Rolling Stone.
The five-time Emmy nominee was found dead by his nephew in his Brooklyn apartment according to the New York Post. Drug-related items were found on the scene. The cause of death is not yet known.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” Williams’ rep Marianna Shafran said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
Outside of playing Omar Little on The Wire, Williams also starred in other popular HBO series, Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country.
Williams recently performed a tribute to rapper DMX at the 2021 BET Awards, with many fans insisting he play the “How’s It Goin Down” rapper in a future biopic.
Williams began his career as a dancer and previously toured with Madonna per Deadline.
In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Williams talked about his earlier days as a street dancer.
“People misconstrue when I say I was a dancer,” he told The Guardian in 2012. “I was not classically trained. I was a street dancer, and I got to do what I did in the nightclubs of New York City … I’m a kid from the streets of Brooklyn who got paid to travel the world.”
Williams had previously opened up about his drug addiction, telling NPR he once came into a church seeking help.
“When I came through those doors I was broken. … This was, I would say, around the … third season of The Wire. I was on drugs,” he revealed. “I was in jeopardy of destroying everything I had worked so hard for, and I came in those doors and I met a man who had never even heard of The Wire, much less watched it.”
Police told the New York Post that no foul play is suspected.