NEW YORK CITY — Actor Michael K. Williams died earlier this month of an accidental drug overdose involving fentanyl, according to New York City’s medical examiner.
Williams, 54, died from “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine,” the medical examiner’s office said Friday afternoon, according to The Washington Post. His death was ruled accidental.
Family members found Williams dead Sept. 6 in his penthouse apartment in Brooklyn. At the time, police said they suspected a possible drug overdose.
Williams rose to fame for his portrayal of Omar Little on HBO’s “The Wire,” which ran from 2002 to 2008. Omar, a rogue robber of drug dealers based on real figures from Baltimore, was hugely popular among fans of the show.
Before his death, Williams was open about his struggles with addiction. In 2017, he told The New York Times that he first developed drug problems in his teens. As his popularity as Omar on “The Wire” soared, he said he struggled as “the lines got blurred.”
“Addiction doesn’t go away,” he told the Times. “It’s an everyday struggle for me, but I’m fighting.”
Williams also starred as Albert “Chalky” White in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” from 2010 to 2014. He appeared in 2013′s “12 Years a Slave” and 2016′s “Assassin’s Creed,” among several other roles.
Over the course of his career, Williams earned five Emmy Award nominations, most recently this year for his portrayal of Montrose Freeman in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” Actress Kerry Washington remembered him Sunday while presenting the Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actor, calling him a “brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon,” according to the Post.
The award went to Tobias Menzies for his portrayal of Prince Philip on Netflix’s “The Crown.” Menzies dedicated his win to Williams.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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