Following the tragic news of the death of Michael Kenneth Williams, the actor best known for his roles as Omar Little on The Wire, Albert ‘Chalky’ White on Boardwalk Empire, and most recently Montrose Freeman on Lovecraft Country, tributes have flooded in from the world of show business.
When They See Us and Selma director Ava DuVernay wrote a heartfelt tribute to the late actor on Instagram, commenting, “Maya Angelou once said, your legacy lives on in every life you touch. You, brother, touched many. Through your personal interactions big and small, through your community activism, through your struggles, through your triumphs, through your glorious work. You moved many. You moved me. What you doubted in life, be certain of now, dear brother. Be certain. You were a flash of love – now gone. But never forgotten. Promise”.
Meanwhile, the creator of The Wire, David Simon shared on Twitter that he was “gutted” to hear the news, before writing: “Michael was a fine man and a rare talent and on our journey together he always deserved the best words. And today those words won’t come”.
Wendell Pierce, who starred as Detective Bunk Moreland in The Wire also shared his thoughts on Twitter, writing: “He was proud of the artist he had become, asking for my advice long after he had surpassed any incite I could have shared”.
Continuing in his recollection of the late actor, he wrote: “Always truthful, never inauthentic. The kindest of persons. Like two mischievous kids, we would laugh & joke whenever we would meet. Like Baltimore years ago, The Wire brought us together and immortalised Omar & Bunk in that ‘scene’ on a park bench. But for us we aimed to take that moment in time together and say something about Black men. Our struggle with ourselves, internally, and each other. For me & Mike we had nothing but respect. So to you, my brother Mike, there is a small comfort that I know, you knew how much we loved you.”
Such tributes were joined by Giancarlo Esposito who said, “I have never met a more loving, caring, beautiful human being. A true friend and thespian. I will forever miss you my dear brother. Godspeed,” in a post on Instagram.
Chance the Rapper also tweeted his thoughts, noting, “Thanks for all you gave to encourage, enlighten, and entertain people you didn’t even know”.
The influential film director Spike Lee also shared his own tribute on Instagram. You can see that – and other tributes – below.