BROOKLYN — Michael K. Williams, the actor best known for his role in HBO’s “The Wire,” was found dead in Brooklyn Monday, according to police.
It was believed that Williams died of a drug overdose, sources told PIX11 News.
Williams, a Brooklyn native, played Omar Little in “The Wire” and also starred as Albert “Chalky” White on “Boardwalk Empire.”
Officials said he was found dead Monday afternoon in a penthouse apartment in Williamsburg near Kent Avenue and S. Ninth Street. He was 54.
Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most beloved character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.
Williams was also a ubiquitous character actor in other works for more than two decades, including “Lovecraft Country,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Assassin’s Creed.”
As Little, he played a criminal with a strict moral code, known for taking advantage of a reputation for brutality that wasn’t always real.
A cigarette in his mouth, he would whistle “The Farmer in the Dell” to ominously announce his arrival.
And he spoke many of the show’s most memorable lines, including, “a man gotta have a code” and “all in the game yo, all in the game.”
The character also broke TV ground as an openly gay man whose sexuality wasn’t central to his role.
Williams appeared in all five seasons of “The Wire” from 2002 to 2008, his character growing in prominence with each season.