Michael K. Williams Remembered by Friends and Colleagues: ‘You Moved Many’

Michael K. Williams arrives for the 2021 BET Awards on June 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Michael K. Williams is being remembered as an amazing actor with immense talent after he died Monday in New York City at age 54.

Williams was best known for playing Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire, an iconic role that earned him a permanent page in television history. More recently, he appeared on the network’s critically acclaimed series Lovecraft Country, and earned a 2021 Emmy nomination.

As news of his death spread, tributes poured in across social media from friends and former colleagues.

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Wendell Pierce, who co-starred with Williams on The Wire, shared his admiration for the late actor.

“The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” Pierce tweeted. “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.”

Isiah Whitlock Jr., another alum of The Wire, tweeted: “Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams. One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul.”

Pablo Schreiber, who also appeared on The Wire, posted on Instagram: “This one hurts. What a talent! What a sweet, sweet man!”

Williams’ death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the New York Times reported. Clarke Peters, who played Detective Lester Freamon on The Wire, expressed frustration that drugs may have played a role in Williams’ passing.

“I’m conflicted over Michael K. Williams death: pissed off that he let us down; angry because he could have reached out and didn’t, instead led us to believe he was alright,” Peters tweeted. “Sorry that another Brother’s life has been wasted. We can do better than this. Talk to a brother! RIP.”

The Wire creator and writer David Simon said he was heartbroken by Williams death. “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,” Simon tweeted.

Ayuko Babu, co-founder and executive director of the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), praised Williams in a statement to Urban Hollywood 411.

“Brother Michael was an incredible actor. He captured a depth of humanity to his characters that reflected his own. We will miss him. Our condolences to his family and loved ones. We all share in his loss,” Babu said.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who directed Williams in the Netflix miniseries When They See Us, shared a deeply personal tribute to the actor on Instagram.

“I remember the times you’d come on set even when you weren’t on the call sheet. Just to share a hug. To cheer us on. Strolling in like the King that you were. For just a flash to give some love – then gone. I remember nights out in NYC that summer and how you were so loved by the folks in your city,” DuVernay captioned a picture of Williams. “Through your personal interactions big and small, through your community activism, through your struggles, through your triumphs, through your glorious work. You moved many. You moved me. What you doubted in life, be certain of now, dear brother. Be certain. You were a flash of love – now gone. But never forgotten.”