Michael K Williams looked happy in final red carpet photos before tragic death

The 54-year-old posed and smiled for the cameras at Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles while donning a bright green button-down and pants in a peacock feather print


                            Michael K Williams looked happy in final red carpet photos before tragic death
Michael K. Williams looked happy at the Aretha Franklin biopic premiere just weeks before his shocking death. (Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic, Leon Bennett/WireImage, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
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Only weeks before his life came to a tragic end, 'The Wire' star Michael K. Williams looked happy and healthy in the photos taken at the Aretha Franklin biopic premiere. They were the last photos that would ever be taken of the celebrated actor. The snaps were taken on August 8, where the 54-year-old posed and smiled for the cameras at Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.

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He was wearing a bright green button-down and pants with a peacock feather print. He was attending a screening of the film 'Respect.' His appearance came weeks before the actor was found dead in his Brooklyn, NY apartment on September 6. NYPD officials revealed to The Sun: “Michael was found dead by a relative around 2 pm today at his Kent Avenue apartment in Brooklyn. He was alone when he was discovered. Illegal paraphernalia was found in the apartment. The medical examiner is currently investigating his cause of death.”

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Williams' rep also confirmed the death and said in a statement: “It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”

'Didn’t want to end up dead'

Michael Kenneth Williams attends the BET Awards 2021 at Microsoft Theater on June 27, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images,,)

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Williams previously admitted to past cocaine abuse and revealed he nearly "ended up dead" in an interview before his tragic death. In a 2012 profile, the actor had opened up about how he found himself in Newark, New Jersey's most dangerous neighborhoods doing drugs “in scary places with scary people." He said at the time: "I was playing with fire. It was just a matter of time before I got caught and my business ended up on the cover of a tabloid or I went to jail or, worse, I ended up dead. When I look back on it now, I don’t know how I didn’t end up in a body bag."

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He then explained what made him clean up and get his act together: "Eventually, I got so sick and tired of this charade. No one who was in my circle, who knew me as Mike, was allowing me to get high. I had to slip away to do drugs. I had to hide it. I’d be gone for days at a time. I was lonely in that part of my life. I was broke, broken and beat up. Exhausted. Empty. I finally said, ‘I can’t do this no more.’ I didn’t want to end up dead.” Williams also told the outlet how he hoped to impact at least one person's life and helping them on the road to getting clean. The TV star said: "I thought, ‘Why me? Why did I get spared?’ I should’ve been dead. I have the scars. I’ve stuck my head in the lion’s mouth. Obviously, God saved me for a purpose. So, I decided to get clean and then come clean. I’m hoping I can reach that one person.”

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Williams struggled after 'The Wire' ended

(L-R) Men's Vogue Ned Martel, actor Dominic West, actor Andre Royo, Men's Vogue publisher Marc Berger and actor Michael K. Williams attend the Men's Vogue Critics Choice celebration for "The Wire" series finale hosted by Hennessy on March 5, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

In February of 2021, Williams also opened up about his struggles with addiction after 'The Wire' ended. He said on the Tamron Hall show: “A lot of people often think that when people put down the drug or alcohol, all of their problems go away but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Drugs and alcohol are not the problem. They are symptoms of the problem. Once those things go away, all the character defects, the skewed moral compass, those are the things that need to be addressed. Those are the reasons why we got high in the first place, it’s the inability to deal with life’s terms."

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He continued: "So for me, when The Wire was coming to an end, I had no legs to stand out. I had to do the work on myself and quiet the inner critic in my head. I went from being a shy dark-skinned kid in the hood who was corny to all of a sudden everybody be like ‘Oh I love you I love you!’ Only it wasn’t me, they were yelling ‘Omar!’ And that was the beginning of me losing myself, of losing my identity in my work and that came back to haunt me drastically towards the end because I was forced to go back and look in the mirror.”

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