Michael K. Williams, whose portrayal of Omar Little in HBO television series The Wire garnered widespread praise and recognition, has died at the age of 54, according to the New York Post.
The Post reported that Williams was found dead in his apartment in New York City. Police believe Williams may have suffered a fatal drug overdose after finding drug paraphernalia in his apartment, according to ABC 7. His body was reportedly discovered by his nephew.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” Williams’ representative Marianna Shafran told Rolling Stone. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
Williams’ career spanned several decades across multiple roles, but his most memorable performances came on The Wire. Williams portrayed Omar, a feared stickup man that bucks the stereotypes of common criminals—Omar is a gay man, and he refuses to harm innocent people. Williams appeared as Omar in 41 of the series’ 60 episodes, and he was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards for his performance.
Williams also found success in the role of Chalky White on another HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. The Brooklyn native additionally won Primetime Emmy Awards for his roles in Bessie, The Night Of, and When They See Us. Williams appeared in three video games as well: Battlefield 4, Battlefield 2042, and NBA 2K21.