A reputable actor for decades, and known for his The Wire appearances, Michael K. Williams passed away a little more than a week ago. A private funeral service is being held today in Pennsylvania for the late actor.
Williams died at 54-years-old of a suspected overdose in his Brooklyn penthouse. The service began at 10 a.m. at Hooper Memorial Home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Funeral home manager Jonathan Branam told The New York Post about 100 mourners were expected to attend. However, Branam said he could not disclose where Williams will be interred. Additionally, New York and Los Angeles will host services for Williams at a later date.
Michael K. Williams’ obituary notes when not acting, he served as an activist and community leader in Brooklyn and elsewhere. “Engaging directly with local organizations, politicians, youth, and officers, Williams was a catalyst for social justice movements,” it reads. “Williams also used his celebrity status to promote several causes, most notably criminal justice reform, both in the United States and in the Bahamas.”
Law enforcement sources state a relative discovered Williams face-down and unresponsive in his Williamsburg penthouse dining room on September 6. There appeared to be drugs on the table. Investigators are working to identify the substance, though it is believed to be heroin laced with fentanyl.
Best known for his role as Omar Little on The Wire, Williams also portrayed bootlegger Chalky White in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Throughout his career, he earned five Emmy Award nominations. His mother Paula Williams survives him, as well as his partner Goli Samii, three brothers, and two sisters.
Michael K. Williams Planned an NYPD Collab Before His Death
As his obituary notes, Michael K. Williams was an avid advocate for several causes, such as criminal justice reform. What may not be as widely known is he reportedly planned to collaborate with the NYPD.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea recently disclosed the late actor planned to team up on several projects with the NYPD prior to his death. Shea spoke with Williams earlier this year hoping to make something happen. Despite not going into details about these plans, the commissioner laments Williams’ passing, saying it is all “very sad.”
“And I say that from someone that spoke to and met Michael earlier this year,” the commissioner said. “Just such a tragic case … where, you know somebody in his prime of his life, really tremendous … great person.”
Michael K. Williams often focused on functioning as a public figure to connect with youths who were struggling. He was a huge advocate for community-led public safety solutions. Above all else, he wanted to make a difference he reported in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Man, I just want people to remember me as one cool-ass dude, you know? Someone who cared.”