Courtney B. Vance Pays Tribute to 'Lovecraft Country' Co-Star Michael K. Williams in Emmys Speech

Courtney B. Vance Pays Tribute to Former Co-Star Michael K. Williams
Getty Images/Kevin Winter

Williams died on Sept. 6.

Courtney B. Vance honored his former co-star, Michael K. Williams, during the Creative Arts Emmys on Sunday. The Lovecraft Country star earned an Emmy for his role as George Freeman in the Misha Green-created adaptation and used his acceptance speech to pay tribute to the late actor.

After thanking his family, Vance reminisced about working with Williams on the HBO series inspired by Matt Ruff's 2016 novel of the same title. "Michael did everything with his full heart open, with his infinite spirit and with way too much style," the 61-year-old star said. "May he rest in power and let us all honor his immense legacy by being a little more love-forward, a little more endless in thought, a little bit more swaggy in act."

Williams, who played Montrose Freeman on the series, died on Sept. 6. The five-time Emmy-nominated actor is currently nominated for a 2021 Emmy Award for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Lovecraft Country.


Jonathan Majors, who also starred with Vance and Williams on the show, recently published a tribute to the late star in Variety.

The Loki actor shared that before shooting began on Lovecraft Country, Williams reached out so they could meet up in New York, "just to kick it." The two made a promise to one another that they would "be our brother's keeper" and look after one another on-screen and off. 

"We were aware of the challenges — that the characters we were to play held a mirror up to both of us — and the expense of spirit to tell this story we both knew would require a herculean amount of our private selves," Majors explained, sharing the way Williams looked out for him, from picking up a dining bill to teaching him the nuances of cologne and candle shopping. "The last thing that was said between Michael and me just a few days ago, in closing an interview, was a simple 'I love you, bro,' 'I love you, bro, for real,'" he recalled.

"On this day my heart sits in pieces, to have lost this warrior, this ferocious angel, this unique artist, my friend, the protector of the promise and my brother," he ended his tribute. "Words fail, but I feel him near, watching over us all. Everyone he touched will understand that he is not far away. Though gone, he’s closer than we think... We love you, Michael. Thank you for your protection and your light."

Watch the video below for more tributes to Williams.