Statement on the Passing of Michael K. Williams
Emmy Award-winning actor Michael K. Williams was an extraordinary actor, activist, and philanthropist. I was saddened to hear of his passing in advance of the National Congress of Black Women Annual Awards Ceremony. On September 6, 2021, Michael made his transition. He recorded his acceptance speech just days before his death where he touched on his life’s traumas and how the arts saved him. He was awarded the Dick Gregory Good Brother Award for activism and support of Black women. In his video, he wore a tee-shirt that read “Support Black Women“. Newsweek reported that this was the last video of Michael.
“Thank you for seeing me just the way I am.”
Michael concluded his video message with “Thank you for seeing me just the way I am.” He is most known for his performances as Omar Little on the HBO drama series The Wire from 2002 to 2008 and Albert “Chalky” White on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire from 2010 to 2014. He earned Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his performances in the HBO television biopic Bessie (2015), the Netflix drama series When They See Us (2019), and the HBO projects The Night Of (2016) and Lovecraft Country (2020). He has a recurring role in the sitcom Community from 2011 to 2012. He is also known for his supporting roles in a number of films including Gone Baby Gone (2006), The Road (2009), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Inherent Vice (2014), and Motherless Brooklyn (2019).
Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of a Bahamian mother from Nassau and Booker T. Williams, an American, from Greeleyville, South Carolina, where his African-American family has deep roots. Williams was raised in the Vanderveer Projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. According to a DNA analysis, he was descended partly from the Mende people of Sierra Leone. Williams was molested as a child, and this left him confused about his sexuality.
After getting into trouble as a youth, he enrolled at the National Black Theatre in New York City.
Michael K. Williams – Acting
Michael K. Williams will be missed dearly. Williams was found dead in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn penthouse by his nephew on September 6, 2021. His private funeral was held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where his mother lives.
Michael Kenneth Williams was an American actor known for his roles in film and television and theatre.