Michael K. Williams: A Singular Talent and Commanding Presence, Onscreen and Off

  • Variety
Michael K. Williams: A Singular Talent and Commanding Presence, Onscreen and Off
Michael K. Williams commanded attention in the purest sense of the term. He didn’t ask for it, nor did he demand it. He simply had it, with a quiet determination and undeniable magnetism that inevitably made him an irresistible center of gravity. When he spoke, whether as himself or one of his indelible characters, people listened. That he won’t be able to do so again makes for a loss as sharp as it is surreal.

Williams, whose death on Sept. 6 at the age of 54 has shocked the industry, made himself one of TV and film’s most recognizable and compelling actors. His performance as Omar on HBO’s “The Wire” electrified television when it first debuted almost 20 years ago — not just because an enigmatic, gay, Black man with a criminal record as impressive as his strict moral code was an exceedingly rare character to see, but because Williams made him impossible to forget.
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