Wire actor Michael K. Williams dies of drug overdose, autopsy report

Michael K Williams, the actor who played Shotgun-toting drug dealer Omar Little in the HBO crime drama The Wire, has died of an overdose of drugs, the New York City Medical Examinations Office said Friday.

Julie Bolser, a spokeswoman for the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, said in an email that her death was an accident. Williams, 54, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Sept. 6, sources said at the time, police sources said.

“Fentanyl, P-fluorofentanil, heroin and cocaine have a combined effect of severe intoxication,” Bolsher said in an email, citing the medical examiner as the cause of death. She declined to comment further on the trial.

Williams colleagues remembered his unique talent in humanizing the characters he portrayed, bringing his own experience as a growing black man in New York to his characters.

There was a drug addiction in the real life fights he pressed, which he brought to a well-known role for The Wire. The TV series is set in Baltimore and tells the story of the drug trade from the perspective of criminals, police and the people trapped between them. Critics praised Williams for playing the role of Little, a gay drug dealer in the war with his rivals.

Other television roles that Williams acclaimed include his roles in Boardwalk Empire, Bessie and Lovecraft Country.

Williams played the powerful African-American gangster Chocky White in the Boardwalk Empire, an HBO series set in Atlantic City, New Jersey during the 1920s Prohibition period.

During his career, Williams earned Emmy nominations for appearances on HBO’s Bessie, The Night of and Lovecraft Country. He received acclaim for his role in the 2019 Netflix series When the Sea, the true story of five teenagers who committed a heinous attack on a female jaguar in New York Central Park, which was finally acquitted after years in prison.


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