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Michael Kenneth Williams Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameMichael Kenneth Williams
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Emmy nominated actor and producer, Michael Kenneth Williams is one of this generation's most respected and acclaimed talents. By bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life-often with surprising tenderness-Williams has established himself as a gifted and versatile performer with a unique ability to mesmerize audiences with his stunning character portrayals. Williams is best known for his remarkable work on The Wire.. The wit and humor that Williams brought to Omar, the whistle-happy, profanity-averse, drug dealer-robbing stickup man, earned him high praise and made Omar one of television's most memorable characters. Williams also co-starred in HBO's critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire in which he played Chalky White, a 1920's bootlegger; and the impeccably suited, veritable mayor of Atlantic City's African-American community. In 2012, Boardwalk Empire won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. He received his first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for HBO's "Bessie" and subsequently received his second nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for his portrayal of 'Freddy' in HBO's "The Night Of"

In 2018, VICE returned for its sixth season with an extended special season premiere produced by and featuring Williams as he embarked on a personal journey to expose the root of the American mass incarceration crisis: the juvenile justice system. "Raised in the System" offered a frank and unflinching look at those caught up the system, exploring why the country's mass incarceration problem cannot be fixed without first addressing the juvenile justice problem. Williams investigates the solutions local communities are employing that are resulting in drastic drops in both crime and incarceration. Michael garnered his first Emmy nomination as a producer for this incredible documentary and continues to host screenings across the country as a way to educate and raise awareness.

Giving back to the community plays an important role in Williams' off-camera life. He recently launched Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose primary objective is to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that are in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play. Williams currently serves as the ACLUs Ambassador of Smart Justice.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Williams began his career as a performer by dancing professionally at age 22. After numerous appearances in music videos and as a background dancer on concert tours for Madonna and George Michael, Williams decided to seriously pursue acting. He participated in several productions of the La MaMA Experimental Theatre, the prestigious National Black Theatre Company and the Theater for a New Generation directed by Mel Williams.

Michael Kenneth Williams continues to reside in Brooklyn, New York.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: AA

Trade Mark (3)

Facial scar
Deep gravelly voice
New York accent

Trivia (16)

Used be a dancer and then a choreographer, doing routines for music videos and tours.
His large facial scar is the result of a bar fight he got involved in on his 25th birthday. His assailants sliced him with razor blades.
During his Sept. 19, 2008 interview with XM radio's Opie & Anthony, he mentions that he is not ashamed of anything he's done as an actor. But, there is footage of him in Hammer pants and a half shirt from his dancing days that makes him cringe.
He got one of his first major acting roles in Bullet (1996) after being discovered by Tupac Shakur.
Edward Norton wrote a cameo for him in The Incredible Hulk (2008) because he was a fan of The Wire (2002).
Williams suffered from an identity crisis during his portrayal of Omar Little, going by his character's name, and developed a habit of smoking cannabis and an addiction to cocaine in 2004.
In 2013, he starred in MGMT's music video for Cool Song No. 2.
In November 2011, it was announced that Williams would appear in Django Unchained (2012). Williams, who had previously confirmed that he was actually in talks with Quentin Tarantino to take on the titular role of Django, was to portray a minor character in the film, but scheduling conflicts with Boardwalk Empire (2010) prevented him from doing so.
He discovered Felicia Pearson in a Baltimore club, invited her to come to the set of The Wire (2002) one day, introduced her to the writers and the producers, and after subsequent auditions, she was offered the role of Snoop in the series.
He serves as the American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador to the Campaign for Smart Justice.
Williams was featured modelling for GAP's 2014 fall collection.
He got the part of Omar Little after one audition.
He has established Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose primary objective is to build community centres in urban neighborhoods that are in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play.
He campaigned for the role of Black Manta in Aquaman (2018).
He was originally cast as Dryden Vos in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). However, he was removed from the final film after being unable to return to set during the film's re-shoots.Paul Bettany was cast in his place, with the character being reworked from a motion-capture alien to a human.
Has deep roots in Greeleyville, South Carolina, on his father's side.

Personal Quotes (6)

[on how similar he is to his character Omar Little in The Wire (2002)] - I was never a thug. I never even liked to fight.
I love my characters. I play them with 100% honesty; there's no holding back. I understand where they are coming from.
[on how he got his facial scar] It happened on my 25th birthday. I was acting immaturely because I was on that "liquid courage" [alcohol], and some words were exchanged between me and a group of gentlemen. I was drunk so I fought and ended up getting jumped. They cut me with a razor from the top of my head to my neck. I nearly lost my life that night. That was my first wake-up call.
The first season was great. I was at an all-time high, getting more money than I ever seen. But I was careless. I blew all my money. See, I am from Brooklyn and when we get money we love to spread it around. I even bought me a crib on Baltimore Hill. I was out in the streets getting into a lot of trouble. I ended up getting evicted from my crib and having to stay with my baby mother until the next season. You only got paid for the episodes you were in and there wasn't any Omar in season two, so I was basically broke until season three. But I loved playing Omar.
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and I respect them but I do my work and I go home. If they only see Omar as a one-dimensional character then they don't understand The Wire (2002) as a whole. What I will say about Omar is he helped the Black community by breaking this stereotype we have about homosexuals. I'm actually proud about that.
[on 'The NIght Of] In my perspective, the show has very little to do with the subject of race, and everything to do with class. I've come to realize that the race thing is a smoke screen. The real war is a war on class. It's about how much green you have in your pocket. In this country, you can unfortunately literally get away with murder if you have enough political background behind you. You are innocent until you are proven poor.

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