Michael K. Williams, who memorably portrayed Omar Little in “The Wire” and Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire,” has died at age 54. The New York Police Department confirmed to Variety that the actor was found dead on Monday at 2 p.m. inside of his Brooklyn residence.
Williams was a regular on many acclaimed HBO series, including “The Wire,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Night Of” and “Lovecraft Country,” played Leonard on SundanceTV crime series “Hap and Leonard” and had a recurring role on J.J. Abrams’ “Alias.” He also acted in acclaimed films including “Inherent Vice,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Road.”
Drug paraphernalia was reportedly found Williams’ apartment, according to the New York Post and Daily News. Williams since the age of 19 had battled addiction.
“People didn’t even call me Mike, they called me Omar,” he once said of the conflation of him and Wire stickup man Omar Little, who oft is regarded as one of TV’s greatest characters ever. “That mixed with my identity crisis and my addiction — and it was not a good mix. I had to stop trying to be Omar and just be Mike.”