By Joshua Rhett Miller | New York Post
A private funeral service was held Tuesday in Pennsylvania for “The Wire” actor Michael K. Williams.
The memorial for Williams, who died last week at 54 of a suspected drug overdose in his Brooklyn penthouse, was held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral in Harrisburg, where roughly 175 mourners attended, according to Hooper Memorial Home, which handled the late star’s funeral arrangements.
“It was very, very private,” the funeral home’s manager, Jonathan Branam, told The Post. “There were some laughs and giggles, and some tears and some moving words.”
Williams’ nephew, Dominic Dupont, praised his uncle as someone who rose to national prominence with his riveting acting skills. He was best known as Omar Little on HBO’s smash hit and also portrayed 1920s bootlegger Chalky White in its “Boardwalk Empire” drama.
“Michael Kenneth Williams will always be one of television’s most respected and acclaimed actors,” Dupont said. “By bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life, often with surprising tenderness, Williams established himself as a gifted and versatile performer with a unique ability to mesmerize audiences with his stunning character portrayals.”
Branam said he could not disclose where Williams will be interred, but PennLive.com reported Harrisburg will be his final resting place. Other memorial services for the beloved actor are set to be held in New York and Los Angeles at later dates, Branam said.
Several actors from “The Wire” attended Tuesday’s 60-minute service, including Andre Royo, who played “Bubbles,” as well as Jamie Hector and Felicia Pearson, who portrayed “Marlo” and “Snoop” on the show, respectively, PennLive.com reported.
The show’s creator, David Simon, and singer-actress Queen Latifah were also in attendance, according to PennLive.com.
Branam told PennLive.com earlier Tuesday that Harrisburg was a home away from home for the late actor, who visited the Pennsylvania capital as often as he could to catch up with family and friends. His mother has lived in the area for more than two decades after moving from Brooklyn, the outlet reported.
“He loved his mama,” Branam said. “And he was a man of the community. Harrisburg embraced him as an adopted son.”
Williams’ mother once took him to a rally at the Capitol in Harrisburg in 2008 when then-Sen. Barack Obama spoke and Williams met him afterward for a conversation that changed the actor’s life as he battled drug addiction, PennLive.com reported.
Williams, who was born and raised in East Flatbush, New York, also appeared in many films throughout his career and had 5 Emmy nominations. He’s survived by his mother, Paula Williams, partner Goli Samii, three children, three brothers and four sisters, according to his obituary.
While not acting, Williams also served as an activist and community leader in Brooklyn and elsewhere, his obituary said.
“Engaging directly with local organizations, politicians, youth, and officers, Williams was a catalyst for social justice movements,” his obit reads. “Williams also used his celebrity status to promote several causes, most notably criminal justice reform, both in the United States and in the Bahamas.”
Law enforcement sources have said Williams was discovered face-down and unresponsive in the dining room of his Williamsburg penthouse with what appeared to be drugs on the table on Sept. 6. Investigators are working to identify the substance, believed to be heroin laced with fentanyl, sources said.
Sources have told The Post Dupont’s wife, Staci Nixon Dupont, called 911 after finding the Emmy-nominee unresponsive in his penthouse. Dominic Dupont said “no comment” when asked if he was also there during the tragic discovery.