According to law enforcement officials, “The Wire” star Michael K. Williams died of a suspected heroin overdose in his Brooklyn penthouse Monday afternoon.
Insiders said Williams, 54, was discovered unconscious in the dining room of his posh Williamsburg house, with what seemed to be heroin on the kitchen table.
According to sources, the famed actor’s nephew discovered him shortly before 2 p.m., and someone contacted officers to the residence at 440 Kent Ave., stating there was a man there who was “unresponsive” and “feels cold.”
Authorities pronounced Williams dead around 2:12 p.m., according to sources, who added that the TV personality looked to have overdosed. “No foul play indicated,” a police source said. “No forced entry, the apartment was in order.”
A man sat sobbing alone at a table outside Williams’ building talking into his cell phone Monday afternoon. “I found the body,” the inconsolable man said into his phone, shaking, with tears streaming down his face.
Williams’ longtime rep confirmed the actor’s death in a statement. “It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” spokeswoman Marianna Shafran told The Hollywood Reporter. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
Monday afternoon, the city Medical Examiner’s Office was at Williams’ building, and eight NYPD cops, including at least two supervisors, were outside.
The Flatbush native, who is presently nominated for a 2021 Emmy Award for best supporting actor for “Lovecraft Country,” is most known for his roles as Omar Little in the gritty TV series “The Wire” and Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire.”
Williams had been outspoken about his personal drug troubles over the years, even during the filming of “The Wire,” stating that immersing himself in the part of Little, a drug dealer robber, affected him in real life.
In 2016, the famed actor told NPR that he once stumbled into a church in New Jersey begging for help with his addiction.
“When I came through those doors, I was broken. … This was, I would say, around the … third season of ‘The Wire,’ ” Williams said.
“I was on drugs. … I was in jeopardy of destroying everything I had worked so hard for, and I came in those doors, and I met a man who had never even heard of ‘The Wire,’ much less watched it,” he said, referring to the pastor.
“I wrote my full name down — Michael Kenneth Williams — and in the office, [the pastor] turns around, and he says, ‘So what do you want to be called, man?’ I said, ‘Well, you know, my name is Michael, but I could do Mike.’ He says, ‘Why does everybody say, ‘Omar, Omar’s in trouble?’ ” And I was like, ‘Oh, this dude is clueless [about the show],’ ” Williams said.