Wendell Pierce Remembers His 'The Wire' Co-Star Michael K. Williams Following His Sudden Death

Wendell Pierce is paying tribute to his The Wire co-star. Michael K. Williams, after the five-time Emmy Award nominee was found dead Monday afternoon in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment. He was 54. At this time, an official cause of death has not been determined, though drug paraphernalia was reportedly found in the apartment. News of Williams' sudden passing immediately sent Hollywood into mourning, with Pierce taking a moment to fondly remember the actor.

In a Twitter thread shared just after news of Williams' death broke, Pierce, who starred as Detective William "Bunk" Moreland opposite Williams' Omar Little in the HBO series, remembered Williams as "an 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." Pierce said that throughout their friendship, William "shared with me his secret fears then stepped out into his acting with true courage, acting in the face of fear, not in the absence of it. It took me years to learn what Michael had in abundance." Williams, according to Pierce, "was proud of the artist he had become" and was "always truthful, never inauthentic. The kindest of persons." In the thread, Pierce went on to reflect on their time together on The Wire, which marked Williams' breakout role.

"THE WIRE brought us together and immortalized Omar & Bunk in that 'scene' on a park bench. But for us we aimed to take that moment in time together and say something about Black men. Our struggle with ourselves, internally, and each other. For me & Mike we had nothing but respect," he continued. "So to you, my brother Mike, there is a small comfort that I know, you knew how much we loved you... Mike.......you joined the ages. Farewell my friend, Love Wendell."

Williams starred on The Wire from 2002 until 2008, the role becoming his career-making role. Speaking to The New York Times in 2017, Williams said Omar "is this dark-skinned outspoken man in the hood who didn't care what anyone thought of him. He is everything I wished I could be." In a statement following his passing, HBO said they are "devastated to learn" of his passing and called Williams "a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years. While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss."


In addition to The Wire, Williams was a regular on many acclaimed HBO series, including Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of, and Lovecraft Country. He also appeared in shows including Law & Order, The Sopranos, Alias, Community, and When They See Us. Williams also starred in numerous acclaimed films including Gone Baby Gone, 12 Years a Slave, Inherent Vice, and The Road.