CNN is reporting that Michael K Williams, who was most known for his portrayal of the Robin Hood of Baltimore, Omar Little, from The Wire, was found dead in his apartment. Williams was found with drug paraphernalia near his body in his New York penthouse by his nephew on Monday. He was only 54 years of age.
Michael K Williams Early Life
Michael Kenneth Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 22, 1966. His mother came from the Bahamas and his father, an American. Raised in the Vanderveer Projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and attended the George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. Williams got into trouble as a young man, though he’d go on to join the National Black Theatre in New York City. He got a job as a temp at Pfizer pharmaceuticals. Then he quit school and his job to pursue his dream of becoming a dancer. He got his break when he was brought on as a background dancer for singer Kim Syms, which led to him also working as a dancer for George Michael and Madonna. On his 25th birthday, he got into a bar fight and received the scar that would make him stand out from the crowd, this new scar got him numerous modeling and music video offers. Williams’ first big role was alongside Tupac in the 1996 crime-drama Bullet.
The Wire’s Omar Little is arguably one of the better characters from the show. I would normally equate that to the fact that David Simon was the showrunner and a hell of a writer. But in this case, all of the praise owed to Simon goes directly to Williams. He brought a surprisingly soft side to this cold-blooded killer. Williams even went as far as actually going by his character’s name, smoking marijuana, and eventually developed an addiction to cocaine because of his devotion to the role.
Our condolences go to Williams’ family during this difficult time.