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Michael K. Williams, 54, Dies

The Emmy-nominated actor was perhaps best known as Omar on The Wire
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2021 5:00 PM CDT
Michael K. Williams, 54, Dies
File photo of Michael Kenneth Williams, a cast member in the HBO series "The Night Of," and perhaps best known as Omar Little on “The Wire.” Williams, 54, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Monday.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Michael K. Williams, best known for his role as Omar Little on The Wire, has died. He was 54. Williams, instantly recognizable for a distinctive scar on his face, started his entertainment career as a dancer. He toured with George Michael and Madonna before landing acting roles, the New York Times reports. He burst into stardom on the gritty crime drama on HBO. His portrayal of Omar was haunting and captivating—and groundbreaking. His character was the first popular and primetime portrayal of a gay man whose sexuality wasn’t the focus of the character.

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He was found in his apartment in Brooklyn by his nephew. No cause of death has been released and no officials are offering any further details, but police say his death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, per the AP. Williams had been open about his struggles with addiction in the past, NPR reports. The actor went on to win more acclaim—and Emmy nominations—for roles in Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of, and Lovecraft Country. He also had roles in films, including 12 Years a Slave and Assassin’s Creed. (Read more obituary stories.)

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