The Wire co-stars lead tributes to Michael K. Williams

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Michael K. Williams' The Wire co-stars have led tributes to the actor following his death, aged 54, on Monday.

A New York Police Department spokesman confirmed that Williams' body was found after officers attended an emergency call to his Brooklyn apartment on Monday afternoon, following a report in The New York Post. Law enforcement sources say his death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose.

Following the tragic news a host of stars paid tribute to the actor, who is best known for his iconic role in The Wire as Omar Little, gay criminal who builds a fearsome reputation by robbing drug dealers.

His co-star in the series, Wendell Pierce, wrote: "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."

Fellow The Wire alumni, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. added: "Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams. One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul. May you RIP. God bless."

The show's creator David Simon tweeted: "Too gutted right now to say all that ought to be said. Michael was a fine man and a rare talent and on our journey together he always deserved the best words. And today those words won't come."

Another of its stars, Lance Reddick also called Williams, "One of the kindest, gentlest, most genuine, giving and courageous souls I've ever met."

Edward Norton, who directed the late star in the movie, Motherless Brooklyn, added: "I feel punched in gut to learn we've lost Michael K Williams. Soul anguished. Getting to work with him was one of the greatest privileges I've had in my career. My admiration for his talent was boundless, like so many. If he was in a scene he was the best thing about it. Period."

Williams' most notable other role came as Albert "Chalky" White in gangster drama Boardwalk Empire. His co-star in that series, Stephen Graham also paid tribute, calling him a "talent beyond words" on Twitter.

Ava DuVernay, who cast him in her Netflix miniseries When They See Us, also posted a lengthy tribute on Instagram, calling Williams "the king" who would be "never forgotten".

Mariah Carey, Spike Lee, James Gunn, Billy Porter and many more also paid tribute to the late star.

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