They are two of the scariest words used in a television program: “Omar coming.” This warning, shouted by people as the streets of Baltimore cleared, meant that Michael K. Williams’ lethal and unpredictable stick-up man Omar Little was fast approaching, so get the hell out of his way. Omar usually targeted gangs who were slinging drugs around his neighborhoods, robbing from both the Barksdale and Stanfield crews and earning enemies from the crooks and cops that populated the tremendous HBO series, The Wire. Sadly, Williams died from drug intoxication in September 2021 at the age of 54. But his mark as Omar was left on the cast and crew of the HBO series (which is how we cooked up these 12 great Michael K. Williams movies and shows), and they opened up to CinemaBlend about his impact during a recent conversation for the show’s 20th anniversary.
The Wire turns 20 this year, and is available to own on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, as well as to stream on HBO Max. The show ran for five seasons, and Omar Little was a thorn in the side of the characters for the saga’s entire run. Not Michael K. Williams, though. The actor was beloved by his cast as well as the series creator, David Simon, who opened up about Williams’ contributions to the show when he told CinemaBlend:
And what an ally he was. Though The Wire could balance a number of juicy storylines involving politicians, police, and charismatic criminals, Michael K. Williams’ Omar is the one who resonated with so many audience members by showing them something they’d never seen before. That’s what a choked-up Lance Reddick tried to explain as he held back tears and said of Williams:
It’s nearly impossible to choose the best episode of The Wire, or even to single out the work done by, say, co-star Dominic West as the unforgettable McNulty. But as the show turns 20, fans can celebrate what’s easily one of the bet things to stream on HBO Max, and even use the streaming service to try David Simon’s next story, We Own This City, with Jon Bernthal.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.