MICHAEL K. Williams’ heartbroken nephews paid tribute to the “sweet and gentle” The Wire star after his tragic death from an alleged heroin overdose.
The actor’s body was discovered face-down and surrounded by drug paraphernalia in his New York City apartment by one of his nephews on Monday, The Sun confirmed.
Arvance Williams spoke highly of his ‘sweet and gentle’ uncle outside of the death scene[/caption]
Another one of Michael’s nephew, Booker T. Williams, sobbed after his uncle’s passing[/caption]
The actor was last seen in August at the LA film premiere for Aretha Franklin’s biopic Respect[/caption]
Hours after his uncle’s tragic passing, Arvance Williams told the New York Post that the news was “heartbreaking.”
“I still can’t wrap my head around it,’’ Arvance cried, as the outlet reported he “emotionally walked” alongside the government van that transported the TV star’s body.
He continued: “I was just with him. I just bought him some fabric so he can go to the Emmys, to put under his blazer.
“He just got nominated for an Emmy, and he was going to LA, so he was real excited about that,” the nephew said as a reference for Michael’s 2021 nomination for playing Montrose Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
News of the star’s death comes as:
- It emerged Michael was last seen at a film premiere in August
- Tributes from fellow stars including Wendell Pierce, Stephen King, and Jason Isbell began pouring in
- Michael wrote ‘don’t cry for me’ in a cryptic final Instagram post
- Michael admitted to past cocaine abuse in a 2012 interview
- He opened up about his struggles with addiction which he said started after filming The Wire as recently as February 2021
- 50 Cent was ripped as “disrespectful” for using a screenshot of the star’s passing to promote his show
- Michael’s body was found on the 49th birthday of The Wire costar Idris Elba
Standing outside of the apartment building, he added: “You guys know him as the actor, we know him as Uncle Mike. We love him.
“My uncle was such a sweet person. A lot of the characters he played as mean and gangster – it was a joke, because he was totally not that way.
“We were supposed to go to Pennsylvania. But we canceled that, and I was going to just touch base with him, come over to the house and cook. Sit down eat with him.
“And this happened. It’s not even real. I can’t even process it yet. I don’t even believe it.’’
Read our Michael K. Williams live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Arvance opened up about his uncle’s struggles, explaining: “I know he had addictions, but that’s not something I really talked to him about. I would ask him how he’s doing, but Mike was very private and he liked to deal with his things I guess in his own way.”
“He had his little demons and he would fight it. But Mike was the type of person, he will fall and he would get back up.
“So he was always trying to do better. He was always fighting. He was always fighting, and trying to stay positive.”
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Another nephew, Booker T. Williams, said of the late actor, “My uncle was loving. My family loved him. He loved our family. He loved our community, and he did everything in his power to show love.’’
While Booker was previously overheard sobbing on the phone that he “found the body,” Arvance told the publication that another nephew actually discovered their uncle.
Earlier today, The Sun confirmed that the film and TV veteran was discovered by a family member face-down in his Brooklyn, New York penthouse and surrounded by illegal drug paraphernalia.
NYPD deputies told The Sun of the 54-year-old: “Michael was found dead by a relative around 2pm today at his Kent Avenue apartment in Brooklyn.
“He was alone when he was discovered. Illegal paraphernalia was found in the apartment.
“The medical examiner is currently investigating his cause of death.”
Sources first confirmed to The New York Post that Michael was found dead in the dining room of his penthouse by his nephew.
‘I FOUND THE BODY’
According to the outlet, drug paraphernalia and what appeared to be heroin was found in the apartment, suggesting a possible overdose.
Later in the evening on Monday, Michael‘s nephew was pictured sobbing outside of the Brooklyn apartment building.
A bystander heard the man say “I found the body” as he was “inconsolable” on the phone.
Michael‘s rep also confirmed the tragic death and said in a statement: “It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams.
“They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
Fans and fellow stars in the entertainment industry mourned the devastating incident on social media.
His co-star on The Wire, Wendell Pierce, posted an emotional message which read: “The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss.
“A immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth.”
‘SHOCKED & SADDENED’
Da 5 Bloods actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. tweeted: “Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams.
“One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul.”
Author Stephen King shared a tribute: “Horrible, sad, and unbelievable to think we’ve lost the fantastically talented Michael K. Williams at the age of 54.”
Missing from the long list of tributes is rapper 50 Cent – who was slammed by fans for using Michael’s death to promote his show Raising Kanan.
His body was found on the 49th birthday of his The Wire actor Idris Elba.
He was most famous for his role as Omar Little in the HBO drama series The Wire – which he played from 2002 until 2008.
From 2010 until 2014, the New York native also popularly played Chalky White in the hit show Boardwalk Empire.
POSTHUMOUS EMMY CONTENDER
Throughout his decades-long career, the beloved performer had been nominated for five Emmy’s.
The late actor is up for an award at this year’s show, which will take place on Sunday, September 19, 2021.
His potential posthumous Emmy will be for playing Montrose Freeman in the drama series, Lovecraft Country.
He was last spotted in public last month as he rocked a peacock feather-print suit at the Los Angeles movie premiere for Aretha Franklin’s biopic, Respect.
Michael is survived by his adult son, Elijah Williams.
A medical examiner came to the scene to determine Michael’s cause of death[/caption]
The film and TV actor was discovered by a nephew in his Brooklyn, NY apartment[/caption]
Michael K. Williams is survived by his son, Elijah[/caption]
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