A timeless presence.
"The Little Fires Everywhere" star gave a special tribute to Williams while presenting the Emmy on Sunday for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, for which Williams was nominated for his role in "Lovecraft Country." Before opening the envelope to announce the winner, Washington beautifully gave an ode to "The Wire" star Williams' unrivaled passion for the arts.
"The nominees for this next award astounded us with each of their uniquely remarkable, memorable performances this past year. But I'd like to take a moment to mention one nominee in particular, Michael K. Williams," Washington said onstage. "Michael was — so crazy to say, was — a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon. Michael, your excellence and artistry will endure. We love you."
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Emmy winner Washington added, "I know you are here because you wouldn't miss it."
Williams died two weeks prior, on Sept. 6, at the age of 54 in his Brooklyn home. His nephew Dominic Dupont was in attendance to accept the Emmy Award on the posthumous stars' behalf had he won.
Williams' co-star Smollett reportedly also paid tribute to the late star on the red carpet, wearing a hair accessory with his initials, "MKW." Smollett previously penned a gut-wrenching Instagram post to Williams on Sept. 15, writing, "I couldn't breathe. Taken a while for my brain to metabolize how the world can continue to spin w/out him here in the physical form. He was supposed to be here with us this week in L.A. for the Emmys."
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Williams was previously recognized with three other acting Emmy nominations for his roles in "Bessie," "The Night Of" and "When They See Us." He is best known for his portrayal of Omar Little in HBO's "The Wire," and Albert "Chalky" White on "Boardwalk Empire."
HBO further honored Williams' legacy, calling the multitalented star a "member of the HBO family for more than 20 years." The network shared an Instagram tribute, writing, "We knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss."
HBO added, "Michael Kenneth Williams had one of the most iconic and dynamic acting careers in history. As he once said, his characters chose him, and, as we know, he made every character his own."