Michael Kenneth Williams was an American actor known best for his critically acclaimed role on the HBO original series, “The Wire.” He was born on November 22, 1966, in Brooklyn, New York City, to Paula Thompson and Booker T. Williams. Michael Williams was raised in the Vanderveer Projects in Brooklyn. He attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School and later enrolled at the National Black Theatre in New York.
Williams’ career aspirations began when he was young. His first job had him working at Pfizer as a temp. Dedicated to making something of himself, he quit his job and left school to begin a dancing career. Williams was intermittently homeless for a year as he surveyed record labels and dance studios for job openings. He got his first background dancer gig for singer Kym Sims. He then began appearing in more music videos and went on tour with artists like George Michael and Madonna.
Williams’ first significant acting role was with Tupac Shakur when Williams played High Top in the 1996 film “Bullet.” Williams gained recognition and acclaim for his portrayal of Omar Little in HBO’s “The Wire.” Donnie Andrews and other crime figures in Baltimore were the main inspirations for the character. Williams’ portrayal was named as “one of ten reasons we still love television” by USA Today. He was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in 2007.
Omar Little was a homosexual. Williams’ convincing portrayal had fans and supporters of the show asking questions about the actor’s sexuality. Was Michael K. Williams gay? Or were his acting skills convincing enough to make viewers believe? Let’s read on and learn more about the actor’s true gender.
VOTE: What was Michael K. Williams’s Sexuality?
Michael K. Williams’ Relationships
Williams was never married and kept most of his personal life private. For most of his career, Williams did not become linked to any relationship controversies. He had successfully kept his relationships away from the public eye and scrutiny. Nevertheless, some pieces of information still make their way to those determined. Here are some of Michael K. Williams’ significant relationships.
Michael K. Williams and Tasha Smith (2018-2021)
Actress, producer, and “The Wire” co-star Tasha Smith became entangled with Williams in 2019 after the actress shared an Instagram photo of the two.
Williams posted the same photo of the pair on his Instagram in the same month and wrote, “I say word is born cause what I speak I manifest #lawofattraction.”
Smith then posted more photos of the pair a year later in December 2020 with a caption that read: “Sending a big happy birthday to my brother, #bff, friend, ride or die, always been there and will be! Love you baby! The Best is Yet To Come!!! God knows what He’s doing! Live your life to the fullest and let God use you to the MAX!!! You always put a smile on my face!!!!”
Despite their constant exchange on social media, the pair never commented or acknowledged anything pertaining to their relationship. Though many fans believe the two were a couple at some point, Smith has yet to confirm or deny the relationship. She has also not made any statements with regard to Williams’ death.
Michael K. Williams’ Son: Elijah Anderson
Williams has one confirmed offspring named Elijah Anderson. Anderson’s age and mother remain unknown to the public, and it would appear they intend to keep it that way. Williams kept Anderson out of the public eye as he grew, barely posting any photos of his son online. Williams posted a picture of him and Anderson on his Instagram page on January 2021 with a caption reading: “I [heart] U Son.”
Michael Williams’ Death
Williams had passed away on September 6, 2021, at 54. He was found in his apartment in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. His death was later attributed to an overdose. Williams had died due to a combination of cocaine, parafluorofentanyl, heroin, and fentanyl.
Several months later, police arrested four men connected to Williams’ death. In April 2023, Drug dealer Irvin Cartagena pleaded guilty to selling the mix to Williams. Three months later, four others pled guilty in relation to the actor’s death.
Michael K. Williams’ Decorated Career In Film And Television
Throughout his career, Williams appeared in almost 70 films and 40 TV shows. Some of his most notable works include HBO’s “The Wire,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Law & Order,” and “Lovecraft County.”
He won several awards for his performances, including Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2011 for Boardwalk Empire, Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2020, and Best Supporting Actor in 2021 for Lovecraft County. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award five times throughout 2015-2020.
Michael K. Williams as Omar Little
Though many praised Wiliams for his outstanding performance and award-winning portrayal of a homosexual role, this also sparked controversy about his personal sexuality and gender expression. Williams had reportedly pushed for more gay affection to be shown on the show. He was reportedly heard saying, “You know gay people [have sex], right?” in response to one of the show runners’ questions.
People also found out that he had been teased in his youth. According to Williams, this was due to his soft-spoken nature. He was also a big momma’s boy, which didn’t help convince his peers. He had a lesbian friend who would always protect him against mean kids. He channeled her whenever he played Omar.
Was Michael K. Williams Gay?
No, Michael K. Williams was not gay. Williams was linked to actress Tasha Smith and was rumored to be in a relationship with her for years. He also has a son who keeps out of the public eye. Williams has not made any statements confirming or dismissing allegations of homosexuality.