NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Actor Michael K. Williams, best known for his role in HBO’s “The Wire,” was found dead in his New York apartment Monday afternoon, according to police.
It was believed that Williams, 54, died of a drug overdose, sources told NewsNation affiliate WPIX.
Williams, a Brooklyn native, played Omar Little in “The Wire.”
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.
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 was also a ubiquitous character actor in other shows and films for more than two decades, including roles on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and “Lovecraft Country,” and in the films “12 Years a Slave” and “Assassin’s Creed.”
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NewsNation affiliate WPIX and the Associated Press contributed to this report.