Michael K. Williams, star of ‘The Wire,’ dies just two weeks before possible Emmy

Less than two weeks before he was to learn if he’d won an Emmy Award, “The Wire” and “Lovecraft Country” actor Michael K. Williams has died, an HBO representative confirmed Monday.

Williams, 54, was found dead of a suspected overdose in his Brooklyn apartment, according to the New York Post and NBC 4 New York, which both cited law enforcement sources.

Despite his critically lauded work as a drug-money Robin Hood named Omar Little on “The Wire” and as Chalky White in “Boardwalk Empire,” Williams had not yet won an Emmy despite four previous nominations. In a late August interview with the Los Angeles Times, Williams was characteristically humble about his work, instead focusing on the 17 other Emmy nods that his current series, “Lovecraft Country,” had received.

“I was very, very happy to see the writers get their just due. The show was in the works for three years, being written and rewritten and rewritten,” Williams said. “Of course, Jonathan [Majors] and Jurnee [Smollett, nominated for lead actor and actress, respectively] — but I was very happy Aunjanue [Ellis, nominated for supporting actress] got her flowers.”

“Lovecraft Country” was canceled after a single season but Williams told The Times he could have kept working on the show for many years to come.

“The horror genre is American classical storytelling. We’ve been telling horror stories since the beginning of Hollywood, and the only time you see people of color, we’re just the easy prey. It’s never about our relationship to what is horrifying. The Black person always dies within the first 10 minutes,” he said, agreeing with co-star Smollett’s comment that “as a Black artist you can be a fan of horror but horror hasn’t always been a fan of us.”

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