The Wire premiered 13 years ago this June, and even for those who didn’t watch it when it originally aired, it’s safe to say that it’s probably been many years since most people watched the series all the way through. While everyone remembers Omar, McNulty, Stringer Bell, and even Clay Davis, there were a fair amount of smaller characters in The Wire played by actors that, at the time, were relatively unknown, and that casual viewers may not remember even though they’ve since gone on to appear in many critically acclaimed and UPROXX-beloved series.
Here’s a list of some of our favorites:
Aidan Gillen — “Thomas ‘Tommy’ Carcetti”
Aidan Gillen’s Tommy Carcetti is one of the more prominent characters on this list, but after watching him depict the devious Littlefinger on Game of Thrones for five years now, it’s easy to forget that he once played the unscrupulous councilman turned mayor. His acting style certainly lends to a skeevy typecast.
David Costabile — “The Sun Managing Editor Thomas Klebanow”
David Costabile had a fairly prolific acting career since The Wire ended, landing recurring roles in everything from Suits to Flight of the Conchords. To us, he’ll always be Gale Boetticher, the doomed karaoke and science enthusiast from Breaking Bad.
Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. — “D’Angelo Barksdale”
Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. was one of three Wire actors to turn up on The Walking Dead, playing Bob Stookey, who lasted two seasons before getting bitten by a zombie, partially eaten by cannibals and eventually stabbed in the head. More exciting then “fake suicide death by prison doorknob strangulation,” I guess.
Chad L. Coleman — “Dennis ‘Cutty’ Wise”
In addition to many other film and television roles, including a recurring stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Chad L. Coleman played Tyreese for three seasons of The Walking Dead. When he eventually gets bitten by a walker, he hallucinates that Bob comes to him, along with other deceased characters.
Seth Gilliam — “Sergeant Ellis Carver”
The third Wire actor to turn up on The Walking Dead, Seth Gilliam played Father Gabriel, a flawed man of faith who is also the only Wire actor still kicking on The Walking Dead. For now…
Amy Ryan — “Officer Beatrice ‘Beadie’ Russell”
Since The Wire, Academy Award nominated Amy Ryan has gone on to do primarily film work, but not before a memorable and adorable stint as Michael Scott’s girlfriend (and eventual wife) on The Office, proving that she’s also a skilled comedic actress. To that point, Ryan also recently made a scene-stealing cameo on Broad City.
Chris Bauer — “Frank Sobotka”
While True Blood may not fall into either category of “critically acclaimed” or “UPROXX-beloved,” it was definitely… a thing that happened. For better or worse, Chris Bauer’s Sheriff Andy Bellefleur remained one of the best things about that dumb show long after it had passed its expiration date.
Pablo Schreiber — “Nick Sobotka”
Playing the nephew of Chris Bauer’s ill-fated Frank Sobotka, Pablo Schreiber has worked consistently over the past 10 years or so, but he didn’t become an internet-household name until he was cast in Orange Is the New Black as the hapless George “Pornstache” Mendez.
Michael B. Jordan — “Wallace”
Michael B. Jordan has easily seen the most success of any young actor on The Wire, with memorable roles on Parenthood, as well as Friday Night Lights, where he played troubled running back turned quarterback, Vince Howard. Jordan is now poised for superstardom with upcoming roles as the Human Torch in Fantastic Four and the titular role in the Rocky sequel, Creed.