Of Omar Little, the lone wolf who points at the dealers, Barack Obama said during a campaign rally in 2008 that he was his favorite character in the best series, The Wire (Bugged). That evening, in the crowd, Michael Kenneth Williams, the interpreter of Omar Little, listened to the future president. The Wire had just concluded his final season and the actor, a child of a city of Brooklyn, then found in other characters, the gangster Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire, the tortured father of Lovecraft Country, reasons to continue its journey. This stopped Monday, September 6. Michael K. Williams was found dead by New York Police in his Brooklyn apartment, he was 54 years old. The cause of his death has not yet been established.
Michael K. Williams was born on November 22, 1966 to a mother from the Bahamas and a father from South Carolina. He grew up in the Vanderveer Projects, a city in East Flatbush, an inner city of Brooklyn, which has long been a hub for drug trafficking.
A scar on the face
In a portrait that the New York Times dedicated to him in 2014, the actor told of a violent childhood marked by sexual abuse and assault. At the end of adolescence, he struggles between his addictions and the beginning of a criminal record. As he celebrates his 25e birthday, a razor brawl nearly claimed his life and left him with an impressive scar on his face.
This physical trait is worth to him to be noticed, first by choreographers who give him the role of the black thug in the troops who accompany George Michael or Madonna on tour. In 1996, Michael K. Williams landed his first screen role in Bullet, by Julien Temple, alongside Tupac Shakur. Three years later, he plays a dealer in With an open tomb, by Martin Scorsese, and landed a small role in the series The Sopranos.
We have to wait until 2002 and The Wire so that the actor gives his full potential. David Simon and Ed Burns, the creators of the series, made no secret that it was the scar that first caught their attention. It is she who, with the sawed-off shotgun that the mobster wears, initially defines Omar. But over the seasons, Michael K. Williams has enriched his character of underworld dissident, openly gay in a deeply conservative environment, rebellious to all authority, to the point of becoming an icon in its own right. The actor struggles to get rid of this image and struggles again against his addictions, including cocaine, living between the street and the hotel. He said he was unable to converse with Barack Obama when he met his admirer.
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