People Are Remembering The Life And Work Of Michael K. Williams After His Sudden Passing

On Monday, the world was shocked by the sudden passing of Michael K. Williams. The beloved actor, best known for playing Omar Little on The Wire — widely hailed as one of television’s greatest characters — was only 54 years old. Details are still under investigation, but as soon as the news broke, an avalanche of remorse descended upon social media, with people alternately expressing alarm as well as love for someone who was both larger than life and all too human.

There were memorials from colleagues of his most famous work, The Wire, David Simon’s epic chronicle of a broken Baltimore. Williams, who had been in movies and television since the mid-‘90s, filed one of the great “who is that?” turns when he first appeared as iconoclastic yet principled drug dealer Omar.

Fellow performers told stories or simply praised his craft.

Williams was far, far more than Omar, though. And some wanted everyone to know that.

It was pointed out that no less than Tupac Shakur gave Williams one of his first movie roles.

People shared his best moments, including, of course, from The Wire.

Others chose other projects.

People dug out a video he made, in which Williams discussed his typecasting…with himself.

Some reminded people of one of his more recent triumphs: his tribute to DMX, who passed earlier this year.

Williams wasn’t just an entertainer. He used his profile to help people. And he didn’t just quietly pay it forward. He put time in on the ground.

There were stories of people meeting him.

And there was joyful footage of Williams in real life, such as his visit to the famed Criterion Closet, which features a little ode to Charles Chaplin.

And there was footage of a sometime choreographer dancing for fun.

Some dug up older interviews, in which he reflected on how lucky he was to have such a blessed life.

There was also one of his last social media posts, in which he simply showed an older interview with Tracy Morgan, in which he points out that others have it worse than he has. “Don’t cry for me. Cry for others man,” Morgan says in the video. “My grandmother told me when you think you’re doing bad, there’s somebody else out there who’s worse.”

“You know what true happiness is?” Morgan asks. “Having something to look forward to.”

Rest in peace, Michael K. Williams.