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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Spike Lee, Wendell Pierce, Joel McHale and More Mourn Michael K. Williams: ‘An Actor for the Ages’

As the news broke on Monday that Michael K. Williams had died at age 54 after being found in his Brooklyn residence, stars took to social media to remember the actor who starred in shows like “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

Director Spike Lee paid tribute to Williams in an Instagram post, featuring a photo of him and Williams cheering on the New York Knicks. “Whew Lawd,Dis Is A Tough Day-1st We Lose The Great French Actor JEAN PAUL BELMONDO And Now My Brother MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS,” Lee wrote. “Our Brother Passed Away Today In His Home,Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn. I’m Shook. Drinking A Bottle Of Italian Red Wine-Brunello Di Montalcino By Myself. Our Greats Are Leaving Us Left And Right. GOD BLESS.”

Director James Gunn posted on Twitter, calling Williams one of the most talented actors around. “Michael K. Williams, in addition to being one of the most talented actors around, was also one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I’ve ever met,” Gunn wrote. “This is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”

Colman Domingo reflected on Williams’ acting skills. “Truly gutted on hearing the passing of Michael K. Williams,” he wrote. “A tremendous actor.”

Williams’ “The Wire” co-star Wendell Pierce paid tribute to the actor in a heartfelt thread. “The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” Pierce wrote. “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.”

Joel McHale, who acted alongside Williams on “Community,” said: “Damn. Just damn. Mr. Williams was such a Good, kind, wonderful man. He was so funny on Community and, of course, an actor for the ages.”

Director Barry Jenkins simply wrote: “This can’t be true.”

Tray Chaney, who played Poot in “The Wire” alongside Williams, said the news is crushing. “I can’t… I’m crushed. No words. I love you bro,” Chaney wrote. “RIP to the legend Michael K Williams aka one of the dopest Actors/Brother in the world. #Omar #TheWIRE FOR LIFE. I’m off the grid for a while hard to process this one. I love you bro smh damn.”

John Cusack called Williams’ acting on “The Wire” “among the greatest performances tv and film has ever seen.”

Actor and comedian David Alan Grier wrote: “Damn! Such a loss! This man was an amazing actor and a beautiful artist gone too soon.”

Aisha Tyler, director, actor and writer, said she was lucky to know the late star. “Michael K. Williams was a beautiful, passionate, expansive soul. I felt so lucky to have known him, and we were all so fortunate to have enjoyed his incredible talent,” Tyler wrote. “He burned so very bright. Rest in power, MKW. You will forever be The King.”

April Reign, creator of the #OscarsSoWhite movement, said Williams was special. “There was something special about him. A quiet intensity. He was SO good in every single role. He studied his craft. He also expanded the view of what a same gender loving man looked like in the roles he played. Michael K. Williams will be deeply missed.”

See more tributes below.

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