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As crazy as it may seem, 12 years have passed since HBO aired the final episode of The Wire back in March 2008. And over the course of the past decade-plus, the cast of the groundbreaking HBO drama series has gone on to do some pretty remarkable things in on the small-screen, the silver screen, and just about everywhere else. I mean, what would you expect from a collection of acclaimed actors like Dominic West, Idris Elba, and Michael B. Jordan? Expect to find them way down in the hole? No, not this cast.
And now that all five seasons of David Simon's love letter to the city of Baltimore and its residents are streaming for free on HBO, I'm sure some of us are wondering what Bubbles, Omar, Wee-Bey, and the rest of the expansive cast are up to these days. For the sake of brevity, and my own sanity, I'll be sticking with the main cast and a few outliers here. Let's go back to Baltimore…
Dominic West (Jimmy McNulty)
For five seasons, Dominic West portrayed the on-again, off-again alcoholic Baltimore police detective Jimmy McNulty, who despite his issues with his vices was a damn good police officer on the Major Crimes Unit. West has continued to stay busy over the years in shows like The Affair and Brassic, the latter of which is still ongoing on the Sky One British television network. When he's not acting, West partly spends time at Glin Castle in Ireland, the childhood home of his wife, Catherine FitzGerald.
Idris Elba (Stringer Bell)
Between 2002 and 2004, there was no one more feared than Stringer Bell on the fictional streets of Baltimore. Brought to life by the superb acting of Idris Elba, Bell was as ruthless as he was ambitious as he tried to slowly take over the city of Baltimore. Although things didn't end ideally for the character, Elba went on to have probably the most successful career out of anyone on the show. With two films in the works — 2020's Concrete Cowboys and 2021's The Suicide Squad — the English actor and singer is quite busy, especially considering his March 2020 Covid-19 diagnosis.
Wendell Pierce (Bunk Moreland)
Many people might recognize Wendell Pierce as James Greer in the Amazon original series Jack Ryan, but before the celebrated actor was giving it to the young CIA analyst, he portrayed Baltimore homicide detective William "The Bunk" Moreland on The Wire. Following his five-season run on the HBO series, Pierce teamed up with David Simon again for Treme. You can next see Pierce in action when Jack Ryan returns to Amazon sometime in the near future.
Michael K. Williams (Omar Little)
If you've ever wanted to know what Robin Hood would look like in the projects of a major metropolitan city then look no further than Michael K. Williams' portrayal of Omar Little in The Wire. For five seasons, Omar stole from the drug dealers who held the city of Baltimore hostage and took care of matters with his unique form of street justice. Williams has continued to show up in crime films and television series over the years, including the soon to be released Arkansas.
Sonja Sohn (Kima Greggs)
One of the most fearless and dedicated detectives in the Baltimore Police Department, Kima Greggs was a vital member of the team that aimed to bring down the drug trade in Charm City. Sonja Sohn, the actress behind the character, even stayed around Baltimore following the conclusion of the series to help rebuild communities, and even made her directorial debut with the 2017 HBO documentary Baltimore Rising. Sohn is also staying busy with her acting career, which has led to a role on the Showtime series, The Chi.
Lance Reddick (Cedrick Daniels)
The deputy of operations turned attorney Cedric Daniels was a driving force in the wire-tap investigation carried out against the Barksdale organization throughout The Wire, a position that put him at odds with the members of his team and the Baltimore Police Department as a whole. The performance was brought to life by Lance Reddick, who most recently starred in the Amazon series Bosch, which was renewed for a seventh and final season in February 2020.
Andre Royo (Bubbles)
Andre Royo gave audiences one of the best performances on The Wire as the recovering heroin addict and confidential informant Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins. Throughout the series, Bubbles went from an untrustworthy addict to a key member of the cast who could be depended on for street-level information. Royo most recently appeared on the television drama Empire before it wrapped in April 2020.
Seth Gilliam (Ellis Carver)
Ellis Carver was one of the original members of the task force assigned to put a stop to the Barksdale organization in the early seasons of The Wire, with the brash and arrogant police officer being brought to life by Seth Gilliam. The veteran television actor has appeared on everything from Teen Wolf to The Walking Dead, where he currently portrays Gabriel Stokes.
Domenick Lombardozzi (Thomas "Herc" Hauk)
Over the course of five seasons of The Wire, Thomas "Herc" Hauk saw himself go from lowly Baltimore police officer to criminal defense investigator before breaking out on his own as a private eye before everything wrapped up. The actor behind the character, Domenick Lombardozzi, most recently appeared in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and is set to appear in The King Of Staten Island and Boogie, both of which are in post-production.
Wood Harris (Avon Barksdale)
Wood Harris played Avon Barksdale, one of the most powerful and notorious drug dealers in Baltimore throughout the duration of The Wire. Barksdale was the main target of the wire-tapping operation in the show's first season. Harris, who is mostly known for his role in the 2000 sports drama Remember The Titans, has continued to work in film and television, most recently appearing in Empire.
Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon)
The quiet and meticulous Lester Freamon proved to be major player in the Baltimore Police Department through his investigations as part of the Major Crimes Unit, even if he was roped into the whole mess of the "serial killer" subplot in Season 5. Clarke Peters, the man behind the role, is next set to appear in the Spike Lee joint Da 5 Bloods.
Michael B. Jordan (Wallace)
Although he only appeared in the first season of The Wire, Wallace's story is one that had a ripple effect throughout the entire City of Baltimore. Killed by his best friends under orders from Stringer Bell, the orphaned street kid was one of the most tragic characters featured in the show. Michael B. Jordan, who was barely a teenager when he was hired for the role has gone on to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood, thanks to little movies like Black Panther and the Creed franchise, which is slated to continue in the future.
Aidan Gillen (Tommy Carcetti)
Introduced in Season 3 premiere, Thomas Carcetti went from councilman to mayor of Baltimore and eventually governor of Maryland by the time everything was said and done, no matter what it cost to get there. Aidan Gillen is now best remembered for his portrayal of the master manipulator Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish on Game Of Thrones. He is currently attached to the Taylor Sheridan-directed Those Who Wish Me Dead.
Amy Ryan (Beadie Russell)
Before she was known as Holly Flax on The Office, Amy Ryan joined the cast of The Wire in Season 2 where she played Port Authority police officer Beadie Russell. In the years following her turn in David Simon's crime drama, Ryan has continued to act in film and television, with her latest project, Lost Girls, seeing a March 2020 release from Netflix.
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Clay Davis)
Clay Davis, the Maryland State Senator from Baltimore is hands down the most corrupt character to show up on The Wire. Known for his shadiness and ability to stretch out the word "shit" longer than anyone before or since, Clay Davis was one of the characters you just couldn't help but love to hate. Isiah Whitlock Jr., the actor behind the insane character, is slated to appear in the Showtime miniseries Your Honor as well as the Spike Lee joint Da 5 Bloods, where he will reunite with former The Wire castmate Clarke Peters.
Hassan Johnson (Wee-Bey Brice)
Unlike characters like Stringer Bell and Clay Davis, Wee-Bey Price was one of the few antagonists on The Wire that you actually felt bad for, despite everything he did. The former gang enforcer and father of Namond Price wound up serving time after confessing to crimes he didn't commit. Hassan Johnson is currently featured on the ABC drama For Life.
Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield)
And then there's Marlo Stanfield, who you just can't help but love despite everything he did throughout the final three seasons of The Wire. Portrayed by Jamie Hector, Stanfield was the central antagonist starting in Season 3, and only ramped up his reign of terror over Baltimore as his competitors began to die off. Hector most recently appeared in the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga.
Those are just a dozen or so of the characters from David Simon's The Wire. I'm sure I left off someone's favorite character due to the fact that there were literally dozens of faces appearing in each of the show's five seasons. If you agree with the list, or if I forgot a big name, make sure to sound off in the comments. And continue to check back on all things HBO here at CinemaBlend.