US actor Michael K. Williams is dead.
Glamtush reports that US actor Michael K Williams, best known for starring in HBO drama series The Wire, following his death at the age of 54.
The star was found dead in his New York apartment on Monday. US media quoted law enforcement sources as saying he died from a suspected drug overdose, but that has not been confirmed.
Born in New York in 1966, Williams began his career as a dancer and performed with Madonna and George Michael before moving into acting with companies including the prestigious National Black Theatre Company.
In The Wire, he played Omar Little, a gay, streetwise robber of drug gangs.
He was also known for playing gangster Albert “Chalky” White in the Prohibition period TV series Boardwalk Empire. Other TV credits included Lovecraft Country, The Night Of, Bessie and When They See Us.
In a statement, the HBO TV network, which aired 60 episodes of The Wire between 2002 and 2008, said: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years.
“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.”
Tributes have continued to pour in from his friends and colleagues.
The Wire co-star Clarke Peters told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He was a generous actor. It wasn’t me, me, me. It was us, us, us.”
Film-maker Spike Lee described Williams on Instagram as “his brother” and said he “was shook” at the news.
The Wire creator David Simon said he was “a fine man and a rare talent”.
Alongside a picture of Williams, Simon wrote that he was “too gutted right now to say all that ought to be said”, adding: “On our journey together he always deserved the best words. And today those words won’t come.”
His The Wire co-star Wendell Pierce tweeted, “The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss.”
“A immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth,” Pierce added.
Singer Mariah Carey shared a picture of herself with Williams, describing him as “a beautiful soul, a beautiful person”. She added: “I’ll miss you always. Thank you for blessing us with your talent.”
Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P Henson posted on Instagram: “Rest well my friend. Jesus, you will be deeply missed.”
“If he was in a scene he was the best thing about it. Period,” wrote actor Edward Norton, who worked with Williams on the 2019 film Motherless Brooklyn.
Oscar winner Viola Davis simply wrote: “No! So sad. Man do I wish this were a different ending. Rest well. Praying for your loved ones.”
She also retweeted a video of Pierce with Williams as the former praised the latter’s acting ability on the red carpet.