Vice Episode 84Vice Episode 84

Michael Kenneth Williams


Michael Kenneth Williams is an actor known for bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life — often with surprising tenderness.

Williams is best known for his work on The Wire, which ran for five seasons on HBO. The wit and humor that Williams brought to Omar, the whistling, profanity-averse, drug dealer-robbing stickup man, earned him high praise and made Omar one of television’s most memorable characters.

Williams co-starred in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire in which he played Chalky White, a 1920s bootlegger; and the impeccably suited, veritable mayor of Atlantic City’s African-American community. He was most recently seen in The Night Of in the role of Freddy Knight, for which he received his second Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Williams previously received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for his role as Jack Gee in Bessie.

Giving back to the community plays an important role in Williams’ off-camera life. He is working to launch Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose primary objective is to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that are in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play. Williams currently serves as the ACLU’s ambassador of Smart Justice.