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The Wire star Michael K Williams feared that his personal struggles with drug addiction would kill him in an interview before his tragic death.
The Emmy nominated actor, 54, was found dead on Monday in his Brooklyn apartment from a suspected drug overdose, according to reports.
Williams, who played Omar Little in HBO Crime series The Wire, opened up about his past drugs battle and hitting rock bottom in a 2012 interview in which he admitted he was "playing with fire."
After robbing drug dealers on the show, in 2004, he confessed to smoking cannabis and becoming "addicted to cocaine".
He said: "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."
He explained: "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.”
In the interview, he explained how he decided to "get clean and then come clean", in the hope that he could "reach that one person."
Law Enforcement sources said Williams' nephew discovered his body at 2pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) and that he was pronounced dead at 2.12pm.
His agent, Marianna Shafran of Shafran PR, said: “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 insurmountable loss."
Tributes have poured in for the actor, including from fellow Wire cast member Isiah Whitlock Jr. who wrote: "Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K. Williams. One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart.
"An amazing actor and soul. May you RIP. God bless."
The Wire's writer and producer David Simon also shared a heartfelt tribute in which he said: "Too gutted right now to say all that ought to be said.
"Michael was a fine man and a rare talent and on our journey together he always deserved the best words. And today those words won't come."
Williams also starred in programmes including Boardwalk Empire, and is currently nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Montrose Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
HBO released a statement saying: "We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years.
"While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, 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.”
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