Michael K. Williams died of accidental overdose, medical examiner says

Published: September 24, 2021 10:02 PM EDT
Michael K. Williams attends the BET Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on June 27, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. AMY SUSSMAN/FILMMAGIC VIA GETTY IMAGES via CBS News.

Michael K. Williams died of an accidental overdose, the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s office announced Friday. The Emmy-nominated actor, best known for his role in “The Wire,” was found dead at his Brooklyn home earlier this month.

The 54-year-old’s cause of death was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, heroin and cocaine,” the medical examiner’s office said. The office said the manner of death was an accident.

New York Police Department sources previously told CBS News that officers responded to Williams’ home at approximately 2 p.m. local time on September 6 and found him dead in his living room.

Williams, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, received critical acclaim for his role as robber Omar Little on HBO’s “The Wire” from 2002 to 2008. He later appeared in several other HBO series, including “Boardwalk Empire,” in which he played racketeer Chalky White. He was nominated for five Emmys throughout his career, including three for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Williams told NPR in 2016 that he often struggled with separating himself from Little’s character while filming “The Wire,” and that Little’s struggle “was a little too close to home.” He also told the outlet that he battled with addiction while filming the show, noting that he was “in jeopardy of destroying everything I had worked so hard for.”