“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss,” his rep Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR told the Hollywood Reporter Monday.
A law enforcement source told the New York Post Monday that Williams—whose extensive and prestigious credits include The Wire and Lovecraft Country—was found by his nephew in the living room of the actor’s Brooklyn apartment Monday afternoon. Sources told the Post and TMZ that drug paraphernalia was found at Williams’ apartment, reportedly pointing to the possibility of an overdose related to heroin or fentanyl.
“No foul play indicated,” a police source reportedly said. “No forced entry, the apartment was in order.”
Williams, who was just revealed to have joined the cast of Sony’s George Foreman biopic, is known for his work as Omar Little in The Wire, Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire, and dozens of other roles in films such as 12 Years a Slave, The Road, Gone Baby Gone, and the HBO biopic Bessie.
Since 2015, Williams—who become something of an HBO all-star with various appearances on shows—saw three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Bessie, The Night Of, and Netflix’s When They See Us. He’s also nominated for a 2021 Emmy for his role as Montrose Freeman in Lovecraft Country.
Williams’ most recent film role was in the John Swab-directed Body Brokers earlier this year, with his work in Surrounded and the John Boyega-starring 892 currently in post-production.
RIP Michael K. Williams.