Michael K. Williams — 'Omar Little'
(Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision for Bulleit Bourbon/AP Images)
Michael K. Williams was found dead on Monday in his Brooklyn apartment. He was 54. The news shocked fans of "The Wire," the HBO television show in which Williams portrayed a Robin Hood-like gangster named "Omar Little." "The Wire" ran for five seasons on HBO, winning widespread critical acclaim but somehow never an Emmy. Williams' death is the most high-profile among the large ensemble cast, but is sadly not the first. Here are a few other actors from The Wire who have died since the show went off the air in 2008.
Reg E. Cathey — 'Norman Wilson'
(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Cathey was a well-known character actor who appeared in shows like Oz, House of Cards and The Wire. (Cathey won an Emmy in 2015 for his work in House of Cards.) In The Wire, Cathey played Norman Wilson, a newspaper reporter turned campaign worker who helps lead Tommy Carcetti's run for mayor of Baltimore. Cathey died in 2018 from lung cancer. He was 59.
Robert F. Chew — 'Proposition Joe"
Chew was a Baltimore acting coach and legend and stole many as scene in The Wire as "Proposition Joe," a drug dealer with a penchant for delivering memorable lines. Chew also appeared in David Simon's "Homicide: Life on the Street" and was a big part of Baltimore's local theater community. Chew died in his sleep in 2013 of apparent heart failure. He was 52.
Robert Hogan — "Louis Sobotka"
(Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
Hogan appeared on more than 100 TV series in his long career, including Peyton Place, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Law & Order. He played Louis Sobotka in The Wire, the older brother of scheming dock worker Frank Sobotka and father of Nick Sobotka. Hogan died in May 2021 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 87.
Melvin Williams — "The Deacon"
Melvin Williams was a real-life Baltimore drug kingpin whose exploits helped inspire some of the stories that David Simon wrote for The Wire. Williams was convicted of drug offenses on three different occasions and spent more than 20 years in prison, where he found religion. Upon being released, he tried to right some of his previous wrongs. His prior friendship with Simon led to him being cast in the show as "The Deacon," a West Side church figure who tries to improve the lives of fellow citizens. Williams died in 2015 from cancer at the age of 73. More:Sopranos actors who have died in real life