Update (Sept. 24, 2021): The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed that beloved actor Michael K. Williams died from an accidental drug overdose. According to Deadline, medical examiners described the cause of death as “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine.”
The Wire actor was surrounded by narcotics when he was found dead on Sept. 6, Variety reports.
Fentanyl has caused several other celebrities to lose their lives. Shock G, Logan Williams, Lil Peep, Mac Miller and Prince are among those who also died after overdosing on the drug, according to TMZ. Comedian Fuquan Johnson was one of three people who died after overdosing on fentanyl-laced cocaine at a house party in Los Angeles on the same weekend Williams lost his life.
Original (Sept. 7, 2021): Widely revered actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his role in HBO's classic series The Wire, has died at the age of 54, Rolling Stone reports.
The five-time Emmy nominee was found dead by his nephew in his Brooklyn apartment, according to the New York Post. Drug-related items were found on the scene. The cause of death is not yet known.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” Williams' rep Marianna Shafran said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
Outside of playing Omar Little on The Wire, Williams also starred in other popular HBO series: Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country.
Williams recently performed a tribute to rapper DMX at the 2021 BET Awards, with many fans insisting he play the "How's It Goin Down" rapper in a future biopic.
Williams began his career as a dancer and previously toured with Madonna, Deadline reports.
In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, Williams talked about his earlier days as a street dancer.
“People misconstrue when I say I was a dancer,” he told The Guardian in 2012. “I was not classically trained. I was a street dancer, and I got to do what I did in the nightclubs of New York City. … I’m a kid from the streets of Brooklyn who got paid to travel the world.”
Williams had previously opened up about his drug addiction, telling NPR he once came into a church seeking help.
"When I came through those doors I was broken. ... This was, I would say, around the ... third season of The Wire. I was on drugs," he revealed. "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."
Police told the New York Post that no foul play is suspected.