The world lost Michael K. Williams over the weekend, the veteran actor who was responsible for some of the most memorable and beloved characters on film and television over the past three decades. Perhaps best known for his iconic stint as Omar on The Wire, Williams’ other credits included scene-stealing roles in The Night Of, Lovecraft Country, and Boardwalk Empire, among many others (including the extremely underrated Hap and Leonard).
While Williams’ sudden and tragic death is difficult for many to accept at the moment, the internet has thankfully taken a pause in its generalized awfulness to remind everyone of some of the man’s often overlooked accomplishments, all of which generally fall under the umbrella descriptor of “being an joyous badass to behold.”
First off, let’s not forget that Williams got his start as a choreographer and dancer who made appearances in music videos for the likes of Madonna and George Michael. At one point, Williams even hoped to become one of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation team, and judging from this brief clip of the actor recently grooving to house music in Central Park, we feel it’s safe to say that was Rhythm Nation’s loss.
Then there’s this brief clip from a few years’ back of Williams on The Queen Latifah Show, explaining that the two actually knew each other while growing up, and that Latifah’s early musical success was another source of inspiration for him to pursue a career in the arts.
Oh, and here’s another string of clips featuring him dancing on stage at an outdoor festival, which is 100% Grade-A smile material. For those hoping for a longer look at that first Central Park session, there’s also this extended video to enjoy. And finally, here’s Williams recounting his excursion into the Brooklyn of his childhood alongside Anthony Bourdain to Stephen Colbert for an episode of No Reservations, which we will leave you with because we A) need to find a box of Kleenex and B) are taking a break to go rewatch that episode this second.
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