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The news of Michael K. Williams’ sudden death has brought grave sadness to the entertainment industry. It also brought attention to the many memories of his life’s work over the years. Williams would have been 55 years old today, Nov. 22.

The actor most famously known for his role as Omar Little from The Wire has starred in several other productions like his most recent work in HBO’s Lovecraft Country. Early on, Williams talents spanned beyond acting onscreen, as also publicly noted he was a dancer before tapping into some of his biggest roles.

The Brooklyn native spoke with The New York Times in 2017, discussing how many of the roles that pushed Williams to stardom are unearthed with the agonizing memories of growing up in East Flatbush.

“The characters that mean the most to me are the ones that damn near kill me,” he mentioned in the article. “It’s a sacrifice I’ve chosen to make.”

Williams’ had a knack for lending the most meaningful parts of himself and his upbringing to the characters he chose. Celebrities like The Wire co-star Wendell Pierce share their heartfelt messages to social media about their beloved friend and cast mate. Though a tough loss for his friends and family, we relish in the legacy Michael K. Williams leaves behind. The roles only he could give true life to onscreen.

Take a look at a gallery of some of our favorite Michael K. Williams career highlights below.

1. Michael K. Williams On “Question Your Answers”


This monologue video of Michael K. Williams is from a partnership with The Atlantic and HBO, which was a part of a series of short videos on a segment entitled “Questions and Answers,” with performers like the late Williams and Jeffrey Wright. Williams answers the question: “Am I being typecast?” 

2. Williams The Background Dancer


Before we met Michael K. Williams as Omar Little, he was Ginuwine and a host of other 90s stars’ background dancer. He mentions in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he used to “boogie back in the day.” 

3. How Tupac Casted Williams In His First Film Role


In this interview, Michael shares how Tupac Shakur helped him land his first film role in the 1996 movie Bullet

4. A Few Months Ago At DMX’s Tribute


This powerful performance was from the BET DMX tribute during last year’s awards show. 

5. “Money Ain’t Got No Owners”


Of course, we had to include his iconic role as Omar Little in The Wire

6. Unforgettable In Every Role


His voice and delivery made each role even more memorable. Here is a clip of the actor’s many legendary roles. 

7. Omar Comin’


Only true The Wire fans recall how Williams left a lasting impression with his role as Omar. There are too many quotable moments to name. 

8. Lovecraft Country


Williams doing what he does best in an episode of Lovecraft Country as Montrose — dancing. 

9. Community


The skilled actor channeled his inner-comedian in this role as a professor on Community

10. Unforgettable


Another unforgettable scene brought to you by Michael K. Williams. He will be missed. 

Rest easy!