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Colleagues and Fans Mourn the Loss of Award-Winning Actor Michael K. Williams

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Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images/Getty Images North America/NPR
Flatbush-born actor Michael K. Williams died Monday at the age of 54

This week’s death of popular Flatbush-born actor Michael K. Williams came as a shock to fans, friends and co-stars, including J.D.Williams from HBO's The Wire, who reflects on what made Williams such a great actor, colleague and friend.

"I think there was this bridge that Mike had. You know some people can be androgynous but it's kind of apparent, but Mike had this spirit of acceptance. You know whatever you wanted to be, however you wanted to be, let's do it, bring it on. We're all going to miss that bridge that he was as a black man, as an actor in so many ways.

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HBO/J.D. Williams
J.D. Williams as "Bodie" in HBO's The Wire

J.D., who portrayed "Preston 'Bodie' Broadus" in The Wire, says that group of actors in that show remained extremely close and reveled in each other's successes.

"It's just this vicariousness that we have as actors, brothers, The Wire, but that particular family where his accomplishments in a way are also our accomplishments. We can all say wow like it's that potential. That's the thing I'm going to miss, watching him succeed, watching him get his accolades, his Emmy's, just watching his journey. Just missing him as a brother."

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HBO's popular series "The Wire"

Police say the 54-year-old Williams, who played the character "Omar Little" in The Wire, was discovered Monday by a family member.

Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene. The NYPD says his death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose.

Williams was also a character actor in other shows and films for more than two decades, including roles on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire and Lovecraft Country and in the films 12 Years a Slave and Assassin's Creed.

He is currently nominated for an Emmy for his role in HBO's Lovecraft County.

Note: J.D. Williams is the brother of WBGO anchor/reporter/producer Alexandra Hill.