3. Michael K Williams
The passing of Michael K Williams came as a massive shock to the entertainment industry and the wider world. Born Michael Kenneth Williams on November 22, 1966, in Brooklyn, New York City, he would get into a lot of trouble as a youth before he decided to follow his passion for dancing and enrolled at the National Black Theater in New York City. After getting a job as a background dancer with singer Kym Sims, he appeared in music videos and on tours with artists such as George Michael and Madonna.
He would gain much-deserved recognition as an actor for his complex portrayal of Omar Little, a gay, shotgun-toting robber of drug dealers, in the groundbreaking depiction of life in the projects of Baltimore in the HBO series The Wire, which began filming in 2002. He played gangster Albert “Chalky” White in the Prohibition period TV series Boardwalk Empire. Tragically Williams was found dead in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, apartment by his nephew on September 6, 2021. His death was ruled as a drug overdose. He was just 54 years old.