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The Wire star Michael K Williams dies, aged 54

The Wire and Boardwalk Empire star Michael K Williams has died, aged 54

Michael K Williams has passed away at the age of 54

Acclaimed actor Michael K Williams, best known for his performances in The Wire as Omar, and Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire, has died at the age of 54. The actor is believed to have been found on Monday dead in his New York home. Williams’ representatives confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter, saying it was: “with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”

Throughout his impressive career, Williams has made waves in both film and TV. He has received five Emmy nominations, the most recent being for his role as Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country. Alongside Lovecraft Country, the actor has been recognised for his work on Ava DuVernay’s miniseries When they See Us, the film Bessie, and the HBO TV series The Night Of. He has also starred in notable films such as Inherent Vice and 12 Years a Slave.

Celebrities have taken to social media to express their condolences and sadness at the loss of “the immensely” talented actor.

Former The Wire Co-star, Wendell Pierce, paid tribute to Williams through a touching Twitter thread, saying: “ The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. 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.”

James Gunn, director of The Suicide Squad, also took to social media writing: “Michael K Williams, in addition to being one of the most talented actors around, was also one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I’ve ever met. This is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, shared that he is, “too gutted right now to say all that ought to be said. Michael was a fine man and a rare talent, and on our journey together, he always deserved the best words. And today, those words won’t come.”

Actor Aisha Tyler tweeted: “Michael K Williams was a beautiful, passionate, expansive soul. I felt so lucky to have known him, and we were all so fortunate to have enjoyed his incredible talent. He burned so very bright.”

Born on November 22, 1966, in Brooklyn, Williams was raised in the Vanderveer Projects in East Flatbush before venturing into the entertainment industry. He recently finished work on films such as 892 and was set to play Charles “Doc” Broadus in an upcoming biopic of the heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman.

Fans, friends and family continue to honour the actor whose work, and talent lives on.