Saturday, November 27

Actor Michael K. Williams, who played Omar Little in ‘The Wire’ and Chalky White in ‘Boardwalk Empire’, dies | TV

Actor Michael K. Williams, 54, was found dead Monday in his New York apartment. The African-American interpreter was found unconscious at 2:00 p.m. local time in the dining room of his luxurious Brooklyn home, according to police sources cited by local media. Williams rose to fame masterfully playing the heartfelt criminal Omar Little in The Wire, one of the most memorable characters in the iconic crime series. And he managed to mark another milestone in his career by giving life to the whiskey dealer Albert Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire.

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The causes of death have not been officially communicated, but the newspaper that has advanced the news, The New York Post, Citing police sources, he claims that Williams has died of “an alleged overdose.” The death has been confirmed by his representative, Marianna Shafran, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The four-time Emmy nominee has garnered critical acclaim since he began acting in 1995. His next project, announced last week, consisted of a biopic about two-time world heavyweight champion George Foreman, directed by George Tillman. Jr. In 13 days, on September 20, the Emmys are awarded, and Williams is the favorite in the category for best supporting actor in a drama series for Lovecraft Territory, prize that could be won posthumously.

Many of the characters Williams played were the product of a discriminatory society that had left them on the sidelines. People who had to deal with racial abuse, poverty, or crime. To all of them, the actor managed to inject the necessary humanity to bring them closer to the public and make their moral compasses understandable, tint them with chiaroscuro and break the imaginary that the world is divided between good and bad.

Omar Little changed his life and the actor’s powerful interpretation of this character helped the success among the critics of The Wire, considered one of the best series in the history of television. His work during the five seasons of the series that portrays the crudest face of Baltimore’s marginalization moved viewers and made him a cult character. Former President Barack Obama himself maintained that he was his favorite character from The Wire. In 2012 Donnie Andrews, the criminal who inspired Omar, died. Williams wrote on his Twitter account: “DEP the original gangster and head to toe man, Donnie Andrews. The man who was the inspiration for Omar Little. I dedicate my prayers to him ”.

Michael K. Williams, characterized as Omar Littel in 'The Wire'.
Michael K. Williams, characterized as Omar Littel in ‘The Wire’.HBO / Europa Press

Williams’ best roles in the series are related to HBO, the television house where he worked for more than 20 years, giving life to characters in Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of and the aforementioned Lovecraft territory. He also acted in This is how they see us, Alias, Los Sopranos, F is for Family O Law. In cinema he appeared in RoboCop, 12 Years a Slave, Pure Vice, Bye-bye, Little One, Bye-bye, Assassin’s Creed, The Dealer, Brooklyn Orphans, Red Sea Rescue, Ghostbusters, Kill the Messenger, The Gamer and Road (The Road).

Michael K. Williams was born and raised “the first 32 years” of his life in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. “Despite all the ugly and bad, I would not change my life for anything, it made me who I am. I am proud to say that I grew up on these streets of Brooklyn. I have some scars, almost all of them internal, but they made me the man that I am ”, he told the CannesSeries festival in 2018. At the age of 21 he entered rehabilitation and then spent almost a decade at home without interest in anything and from fight to fight ( hence its outer scars). Until the dance, first – he participated as a dancer in tours of Madonna and George Michael – and the cinema later, thanks to the rapper Tupac Shakur – who signed him to play the brother of his character in Bullet, In 1996 – they pulled him out of a hellish decade.

“During my time in The Wire I realized that success is not leaving your community, it is being welcomed back ”, and that is why he turned to social actions in his neighborhood, and to producing documentary series on topics that mattered to him. In a 2017 interview with The New York TimesHe argued that “the addiction does not go away.” “It is a daily fight for me, but I am fighting,” he added.

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