Wendell Pierce, Dwayne Johnson and Spike Lee lead tributes to Michael K Williams

Tributes have been pouring in for Michael K Williams, the Boardwalk Empire star who was found dead in his apartment on Monday.

Williams, who was known for his role as Chalky White in the hit TV drama, was found by family members at his Brooklyn home at around 2pm on Monday.

His death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the Associated Press reports, citing the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Actor and friend Wendell Pierce, who starred alongside Williams in The Wire, posted his tribute online in a series of tweets, writing: “The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss. A immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth.

“If you don’t know, you better ask somebody. His name was Michael K Williams. He shared with me his secret fears then stepped out into his acting with true courage, acting in the face of fear, not in the absence of it. It took me years to learn what Michael had in abundance.

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Michael K Williams: ‘Dancing was my battlecry’

“He was proud of the artist he had become, asking for my advice long after he had surpassed any insight I could have shared. Always truthful, never inauthentic. The kindest of persons. Like two mischievous kids, we would laugh & joke whenever we would meet. Like Baltimore years ago.

“THE WIRE brought us together and immortalized Omar & Bunk in that ‘scene’ on a park bench. But for us we aimed to take that moment in time together and say something about Black men. Our struggle with ourselves, internally, and each other. For me & Mike we had nothing but respect.

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“So to you, my brother Mike, there is a small comfort that I know, you knew how much we loved you.”

He added: “Mike…….you joined the ages. Farewell my friend, Love Wendell.”

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Michael K Williams in The Wire

Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee added his tributes on Instagram, writing: “Our Brother Passed Away Today In His Home, Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn. I’m Shook. Drinking A Bottle Of Italian Red Wine-Brunello Di Montalcino By Myself. Our Greats Are Leaving Us Left And Right. GOD BLESS.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson left his thoughts on Facebook, saying: “You’ll be missed, brother.

“A real pleasure to work with you and call you a friend.

“Strength, mana & love to your family during this very difficult and heart-breaking time.”

Elsewhere, Giancarlo Esposito, known for his roles in Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian, also paid tribute to Williams.

He said: “I have never met a more loving, caring, beautiful human being. A true friend and thespian. I will forever miss you my dear brother. Godspeed.”

Horror writer Stephen King said, “Horrible, sad, and unbelievable to think we’ve lost the fantastically talented Michael K. Williams at the age of 54,” while Aisha Tyler, the actress and director, called Williams a “beautiful, passionate, expansive soul”.

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In a statement, HBO, the network where Williams became a star, described his death as an “immeasurable loss”.

It said: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years.

“While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him.

“We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss.”

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