Michael K. Williams shared a heart-wrenching Instagram message 18 months prior to his death.
The Wire actor, who was pronounced dead on September 6 at age 54, reflected on several losses he’d endured in his personal life in a post shared in February 2020. He noted it was a wake-up call on the fragility of life and the legacy he’d like to leave behind.
“I’ve been thinking about my own mortality lately,” he wrote at the time. “I don’t know if it’s the recent death of my first love and first heartbreak or watching my hero, my rock, my mom get older every day knowing that at 93 her time here won’t be as long as it’s been maybe all of the above. It all has me wondering how will I go? Will I die alone? How will I be remembered and what will be my legacy.”
Williams’ message came days after basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash.
“I may not have known every nook and cranny of Kobe’s career but the two things I did learn from watching him is that we are not what we do for [a] living and that focus, hard work and dedication are the seeds of success,” he added.
“Most Importantly his untimely passing has reminded me of how fragile life is. I believe I read somewhere in a Chinese proverb ‘whenever u have the chance to watch the sunset’ take it, it might be ur last’ I do this because it reminds me how fast time goes if u don’t believe me just watch the last 60 seconds of one.
“I’m tired of wasting time worrying about what people think of me, self-doubt and fear, I’d rather trade all that in for a purpose-driven life cause from where I sat in the bleachers that’s exactly what it looked like he had.”
Williams was found in his Brooklyn apartment and was confirmed dead by NYPD.
“It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams,” a rep for Williams said in a statement. “They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”
In the actor’s final Instagram post, he shared footage from a podcast appearance by comedian Tracy Morgan in which he talked about surviving a fatal accident in 2014.
Williams captioned the video on August 31, “I love u brother! @tracymorgan #realOG”.
The late actor had sought treatment for addiction and suffered many relapses in his career.
“Addiction doesn’t go away,” he told The New York Times in 2017. “It’s an everyday struggle for me, but I’m fighting.”
Williams appeared in Boardwalk Empire, The Night Of and 2020’s Lovecraft Country. He also scored notables roles in Inherent Vice, 12 Years a Slave, and Gone Baby Gone.