The most unexpected deaths are those that occur in what is considered premature, when people have not yet had the opportunity to really grow old; and those that transcend public opinion are those by whose fame or, at least, a familiar face has become recognizable by many people in the world. The actors of big projects have it easy, and this is what happens to the New Yorker Michael Kenneth Williams (1966-2021), recently passed away at age fifty-four.
Perhaps by name he is not located by a large part of moviegoers, but if his face is put before their eyes, with that large scar that crosses it from the forehead, it will surely ring a bell. And the most fans will identify you as who played the unforgettable Omar Little in The Wire (David Simon, 2002-2008), one of the most important series in the history of television.
The most visible characters of Michael Kenneth Williams
Every time that Michael Kenneth Williams appears on screen as that dangerous and at the same time suggestive criminal, who makes his way through the streets of Baltimore, in the state of Maryland, the narrative interest rises several integers in the episodes of The Wire. But this is not the only job where this brooklyn artist has excelled during his career, which began with a small role in the film Bullet (Julien Temple, 1996), starring Mickey Rourke and Adrien Brody.
Later, it was a camel in To the limit (Martin Scorsese, 1999), el Ray Ray del capítulo “Army of One” (3×13) de The Sopranos (David Chase, 1999-2007), his Roberts in three episodes of Alias (J. J. Abrams, 2001-2006), el Reggie Dunham del capítulo “The Box” (5×09) de CSI: New York (Anthony E. Zuiker, Ann Donahue and Carol Mendelsohn, 2004-2013), Devin in the feature film Goodbye little one goodbye (Ben Affleck, 2007) o el Harlem Bystander de The incredible Hulk (Louis Leterrier, 2008).
From ‘The Wire’ to ‘Lovecraft Territory’, via ‘Boardwalk Empire’
But Michael Kenneth Williams also played Red in The lords of brooklyn, to a thief of Road (Antoine Fuqua, John Hillcoat, 2009), to Professor Marshall Kane in three episodes of Community (Dan Harmon, 2009-2015), a Chalky White en Boardwalk Empire (Terence Winter, 2010-2014), another of his fundamental roles; to the Oscar-winning Robert Twelve years of slavery (Steve McQueen, 2013), a Jack Lewis en el remake from RoboCop, to the Carmel of Anachy: Night of the Beasts or to Tariq Khalil in Pure vice (José Padilha, James DeMonaco, Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014).
Not forgetting Agent Hawkins from Ghostbusters, your Freddy Knight in The Night of, al Mousa de Assassin’s Creed (Paul Feig, Richard Price and Steven Zaillian, Justin Kurzel, 2016), Ken Jones in four chapters of Wen We Rise (Dustin Lance Black, 2017), al Bobby McCray de la miniserie Ayes they see us, to the man with the trumpet in Brooklyn orphans (Ava DuVernay, Edward Norton, 2019) o al Montrose Freeman de Lovecraft Territory (Misha Green, 2020), her latest most notorious role.
But we can still find Michael Kenneth Williams in other three cinematographic works pending release: as Negativity in still undetermined episodes of Vital Signs, scripted by Dr. Dre and Robert Munic, and a character from the movies Surrounded, directed by Anthony Mandler and with Jamie Bell, Jeffrey Donovan or Letitia Wright among his co-stars, and 892, by Abi Damaris Corbin, in which he shares the frame with Connie Britton, Jeffrey Donovan again or John Boyega.
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Michael Kenneth Williams, who was the great Omar Little in ‘the Wire’, dies