Entertainment

‘RIP to the legend Michael K. Williams’: Stars pay tribute to ‘Wire’ actor

Tributes to Michael K. Williams began pouring from fans, former co-stars and other celebrities Monday after The Post broke news of the acclaimed actor’s tragic death.

The 54-year-old star, who was best known for his roles on “The Wire ” and “Boardwalk Empire” and was nominated for a 2021 Emmy for his performance in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” was found dead of a suspected drug overdose in his Brooklyn penthouse Monday afternoon, law enforcement sources said.

Michael K. Williams was found dead of a suspected overdose in his apartment on September 6, 2021.
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic
Michael K. Williams with his former co-star Tray Chaney.
Michael K. Williams with his former co-star Tray Chaney.
Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty

“Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams,” tweeted actor Isiah Whitlock Jr., who played crooked Maryland State Sen. Clay Davis opposite Williams’ sharp-witted drug-dealer”stickup man” Omar Little in HBO’s “The Wire,” which ran from 2002 to 2008.

“One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart,” Whitlock continued. “An amazing actor and soul. May you RIP. God bless.”

Tray Chaney, known for his role as drug dealer Poot Carr on the gritty drama, said he was “crushed” by his former co-star’s death.

RIP to the legend Michael K Williams aka one of the dopest Actors/Brother in the world,” Chaney tweeted, along with a photo of the two.

“I’m off the grid for a while hard to process this one.”

Wendell Pierce, who portrayed Baltimore Detective Bunk Moreland on “The Wire,” mourned his former scene partner in a touching statement, saying Williams was “Always truthful, never inauthentic. The kindest of persons.”

Isiah Whitlock Jr. tweeted that he was "shocked and saddened" to hear about Williams' death.
Isiah Whitlock Jr. tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened” to hear about Williams’ death.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

“The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” Pierce wrote in a Twitter thread. “A 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.”

“For me & Mike we had nothing but respect,” he said.

Bronx-born Domenick Lombardozzi, another former “The Wire” actor, who played a Baltimore cop nicknamed “Herc,” said he knew Williams as “kind. Fair. Gentle. And super f–king talented.”

“I’ll cherish our talks and I’ll miss him tremendously,” Lombardozzi tweeted. “My deepest condolences to the Williams family. Rest my friend.”

Actress Aisha Tyler remembered the Flatbush native as “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,” she wrote on Twitter. “He burned so very bright. Rest in power, MKW. You will forever be The King.”

Tray Chaney
Tray Chaney is known for his role as drug dealer Poot Carr on “The Wire.”

“The Suicide Squad” director James Gunn said that 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,” Gunn tweeted. “My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”

George Takei, of “Star Trek” fame, said the loss of Williams was “heartbreaking.” 

“We have lost an enormous talent in Michael K. Williams,” he tweeted. 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, said in a statement that “Brooklyn is mourning one of its native sons.” 

“Michael K. Williams was a generational talent and a tireless advocate for social justice,” Adams said. “As Omar in The Wire, he once said ‘sometimes who you are is enough.’ Michael was always unabashedly himself — and he will be deeply missed.” 

Additional reporting by Jack Morphet


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