Neighbors remember ‘Wire’ star Michael K. Williams
“A man must have a code” – and that was a good neighbor for Michael K. Williams.
The Wire star, who died Monday of an alleged heroin overdose at age 54, was known for being friendly, down-to-earth, and quick to joke in his Brooklyn skyscraper.
“He was an amazing person who knew everyone in the building and greeted everyone by their first name,” said neighbor Tommy Scheahr, 37, on Tuesday.
“He was special.”
The residents of the luxurious Williamsburg building erected a shrine in his memory with colorful bouquets of flowers and a poster that read “RIP to a beautiful soul”.
The East Flatbush native’s death came as a shock to the neighbors, who said they had seen him exercise at the building’s gym on Kent Avenue all last week. Relatives said Williams was also excited to receive an Emmy nomination this year for his work as Montrose Freeman on HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.”
His portrayal of Omar Little – the renegade drug dealer robber in “The Wire,” best known for some of the show’s most memorable lines, including “A Man Must Have a Code” – earned him a ton of loyal fans.
Despite his fame, Williams did not befriend his neighbors, but rather befriended them – and even planned to attend the christening for the granddaughter of the caretaker of his building before his tragic death.
“He was a larger than life character and the most beautiful soul I had ever known,” said Concierge Connie Agapie.
“He always had a smile on his face and had a good word to say about everyone,” said the 65-year-old.
Neighbor Lavi Rudnick, 37, agreed and fondly remembered the celebrated actor as a “normal, real guy”.
“If you didn’t know he was famous, you couldn’t tell by the way he treated people,” said Rudnick. “He treated everyone who lived in the building like a friend.”
When Williams first moved into the penthouse three years ago, Scheahr said he blurted out another famous line from Omar Little.
“I said one of Omar’s lines, ‘I have the shotgun, you have the briefcase’ and Mike just smiled and said, ‘It’s all in the game, isn’t it?'” Recalled Scheahr.
“I knew Omar from TV, but I met Mike.”
Schearr said the two fitness enthusiasts became friends. They signed up on Saturday to organize a bike tour – and recently devoured the new Kanye West album “Donda” together.
According to Schearr, Williams’ favorite song was “Believe What I Say” – a sample by American singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill.
The acclaimed actor, who spoke openly about his previous drug bouts, was found dead in the penthouse by his nephew, according to law enforcement agencies.
Police said no foul play was suspected, but detectives searched Williams’ phone and computer and security camera footage on Tuesday as part of the investigation, a source said.
Additional coverage from Larry Celona