Michael K. Williams, 'The Wire' Actor, Dead at 54

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Michael K. Williams
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Michael K. Williams has died at age 54.

A spokesperson for the Deputy Commissioner Public Information tells ET that police responded to a 911 call of an unconscious male on Sept. 6. Upon arrival, police discovered a 54-year-old male unconscious in the living room of the location. EMS was on scene and pronounced the male deceased. The spokesperson says that the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death, and that it remains an ongoing investigation.

Williams' rep also confirmed the tragic news to The Hollywood Reporter.

"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 long-time rep, Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR, told THR.

According to The New York Post, The Wire actor was found dead in the living room of his Brooklyn apartment Monday by his nephew. Drug paraphernalia was also found in Williams' apartment.

The Associated Press reports that the NYPD said Williams' death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose.

The five-time Emmy nominated actor is currently nominated for a 2021 Emmy Award for supporting actor in a drama series for Lovecraft Country.

Williams, who played Montrose on the HBO series, spoke to ET last year about the success of the show and its thoughtful depiction of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. For Williams, the episode was about much more than accolades. It was about taking the time and responsibility to tell these stories in the first place.

"For me, it’s like I hit the jackpot," the actor said at the time. "I look up to the late great Nina Simone and she always said, ‘An artist's duty is to reflect the times.’ And what a great opportunity to have this gift and have this platform and to be able to tell this type of narrative in this time."

In March, Williams took home a Critics Choice Award for the series, telling ET's Lauren Zima that he felt humbled by the win.

"For one, it feels really humbling that the voters from the Critics Choice Association, this came from them. It holds a special place in my heart. It's just nice to be recognized. It's really humbling. I feel good," he said about the win.

He continued, "To be here today, to be celebrated, to have something to celebrate, is refreshing. It's a refreshing break from what we see on the news every day. To be acknowledged by the critics, I feel seen, which a lot of times, someone that looks like me, that comes from my community, it's very easy for us to feel unseen. So, a lot of emotions are in the room. Anybody [that] knows my past, my story, it wasn't guaranteed I was gonna make it here on a lot of personal levels. My life could've taken a lot of different turns, so to be here alive, healthy, being celebrated with my loved ones, I feel truly blessed."

The New York native spoke to ET at the BET Awards in June about the late DMX. Williams, who was featured in a tribute to X at the awards show, told ET's Kevin Frazier that he believed he and the rapper, who died in April, were "kindred spirits."

"It was my son's birthday. We decided to go to a bar and X happened to be spinning that night," Williams said of running into the rapper. "And that was the second time that I'd actually met him, I went up to the DJ booth and we spoke about some of our -- some personal things. I've always believed that we're kindred spirits in that. And we talked about that. He looked at me, up at me, and there you go, the picture was taken."

Williams was made famous for his role as Omar Little in the cult-classic TV series The Wire, and as Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire.

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