Michael K. Williams, The Wire and Battlefield Star, Dead at 54

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Actor Michael K. Williams has died at the age of 54.

Williams was found in his Brooklyn penthouse on Monday afternoon. No cause of death was immediately available, but sources say that he was discovered unconscious in his dining room with “what appeared to be heroin on the kitchen table.”

Williams’ death has been confirmed by his long-time rep, Marianna Shafran, who offered a short statement.

“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” Shafran said. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”

HBO has also delivered a statement in regard to Williams’ passing. The actor was best known for playing stick-up man Omar Little on HBO’s crime drama TV series, The Wire, which ran for five seasons from 2002 to 2008. Williams also starred in other hit shows for HBO such as Lovecraft Country and Boardwalk Empire.

“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years,” a statement from the network reads. “While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss.”

Williams is also known to Battlefield fans for his role as Sgt. Kimble “Irish Graves” in Battlefield 4. The actor returned as Graves for Battlefield 2042, but sadly, Williams will not be around to see the game’s reception.

He excelled in street dancing and worked on tours fronted by the likes of George Michael and Madonna before pursuing acting with the National Black Theatre in New York City, and he made his onscreen debut in Bullet (1996), starring Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur.

The rapper had seen a photo of Williams — who had a prominent facial scar from a fight in Queens on his 25th birthday — and helped him get hired to play his brother in the film.

Sources: New York Post, The Hollywood Reporter

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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