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Wire Star Was 'the Kindest of Persons'

Actors including Wendell Pierce, Edward Norton remember Michael K. Williams
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2021 3:45 AM CDT
Updated Sep 7, 2021 7:03 AM CDT
He Was Omar—and 'the Kindest of Persons'
In this Feb. 9, 2020, file photo, Michael K. Williams arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Celebrities, including many of Michael K. Williams' co-stars on The Wire, are paying tribute to the Emmy-nominated actor, who was found dead in his Brooklyn home on Monday. "The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss," tweeted Wendell Pierce, who played Detective William "Bunk" Moreland on the HBO series. He called Williams an "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." He added, per Deadline, "Always truthful, never inauthentic. The kindest of persons."

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Domenick Lombardozzi, who also starred on The Wire, described Williams as talented, kind, fair, and gentle. "I'll cherish our talks and I'll miss him tremendously," he tweeted. Isiah Whitlock Jr., also of The Wire, described Williams as "one of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul," per the New York Times. Meanwhile, Edward Norton, who worked with Williams on 2019's Motherless Brooklyn, said the experience had been "one of the greatest privileges" of his career. "If he was in a scene he was the best thing about it. Period," he tweeted. "He ran so deep. He was also kind & generously enthusiastic."

"We will always remember him and his ability to impact people’s lives through his powerful performances," reads a tweet from the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Williams had roles in TV shows including Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country, and in films including 12 Years a Slave. But he was best known as The Wire's Omar Little, Baltimore's most-feared stickup artist, widely considered to be among the best characters to appear on TV. Williams noted the openly gay character helped to normalize gayness "especially among the Black community." "I get real gangsters coming up and saying, 'Omar's my man! I love Omar!'" he told the Guardian in 2008. "I think it might have made some people think differently about things." (Read more tribute stories.)

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