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Actor Michael K. Williams Dies at 54

Michael K Williams
(Image credit: HBO )

Emmy Award-nominated actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his roles in HBO shows The Wire and Lovecraft Country, died Monday afternoon. He was 54 years old. 

The actor, who received a 2021 Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his appearance in HBO’s Lovecraft Country, was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment by family members, according to The New York Times. The cause of death was not revealed but the death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the Times reported. 

Williams is arguably best known for his role as Omar Little in HBO’s drama series The Wire. Williams also appeared in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.

HBO in a tweet said it was “devastated" to learn of Williams’ passing, adding that Williams has been an HBO family member for more than 20 years.

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Williams also starred in SundanceTV's dark comedy series Hap and Leonard in the late 2010's. In a 2018 interview with Multichannel News, Williams talked about the  burgeoning opportunities actors and producers of color are finding on television.

Williams also garnered other Emmy nods in past years for acting performances in such shows as Netflix's When They See Us, and HBO's The Night Of and Bessie. When They See Us executive producer Ava DuVernay Monday posted on social media that Williams was a "flash of love -- now gone. But never forgotten." 

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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.