Before “HAP AND LEONARD”: Top 5 Michael Kenneth Williams TV Shows
You may know him as Omar on The Wire — seriously, who doesn’t? Yet Michael Kenneth Williams is capable of more than Baltimore’s notorious stick-up guy. But before we get to his new starring role in SundanceTV’s HAP AND LEONARD, let’s take a look at five of his most memorable TV shows to date.
1. Boardwalk Empire
In Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed period drama, Williams delivers a multilayered performance as Chalky White, a Southern gentleman who’s also a conniving businessman and a leader of the African American community in Atlantic City during Prohibition. Who knew he’d looked so good in 1920s garb?
2. The Kill Point
Before he was on the other side of the law on The Wire, Williams played a SWAT sniper (Quincy) on this crime drama centered on a group of military vets who return home from Iraq to attempt a major bank heist. It’s unusual to see the man who made Omar Little synonymous with thieving work to stop robbers, but he makes it believable along with his fellow The Wire cast-mate, J. D. Williams, who plays one of the hostage takers.
3. The Philanthropist
Michael has teamed up with James Purefoy before HAP AND LEONARD. Case in point: The Philanthropist where he plays Dax Vahagn, an Iraq war veteran who serves as bodyguard to Teddy Rist (Purefoy), a do-good billionaire. The chemistry here is killer. This duo was destined to work together again!
4. The Spoils Before Dying
A 1950s jazz pianist-turned-detective who’s investigating the murder of a songstress (Maya Rudolph)? It’s nothing Williams character can’t handle in this wildly entertaining comedy which also stars fellow A-listers Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and Haley Joel Osment.
5. The Wire
Omar Little. Just the name makes you tremble in fear, doesn’t it? One of the actor’s most revered roles is this gay thief with a strict moral code on the tough streets of Baltimore. Never seen without his trench coat (or his shotgun), this guy has a bloodcurdling habit of whistling of “A Hunting We Will Go” before confronting someone. Don’t mess with Omar.