MICHAEL KENNETH WILLIAMS (Neville) is one of television's most respected and
acclaimed actors. By bringing complicated and charismatic characters to
life-often with surprising tenderness-Williams has established himself as a
gifted and versatile performer with a unique ability to mesmerize audiences with
his stunning character portrayals.
Williams is best known for his remarkable work on "The Wire," which ran for five
seasons on HBO. The wit and humor that Williams brought to Omar Little, the
whistle-happy, profanity-averse, dealer-robbing stickup man, earned him high
praise and made Omar one of television's most memorable characters. For his work
Williams was nominated in 2009 for an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series."
Williams co-starred in HBO's critically acclaimed series "Boardwalk Empire,"
which premiered in 2010 and is currently in its last season. In the Martin
Scorsese-produced show, Williams played Chalky White, a 1920s bootlegger and
impeccably suited veritable mayor of the Atlantic City's African-American
community. In 2012, "Boardwalk Empire" won a Screen Actors Guild Award for
"Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series." In 2014, Michael
Kenneth Williams was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding
Supporting Actor in Drama Series" for "Boardwalk Empire."
Williams continued to show his versatility by guest starring in "Community,"
NBC's comedy series. His other television credits include "Law & Order," "CSI,"
"The Philanthropist" and "Boston Legal." He also had a recurring role on "The
Sopranos" and J.J. Abrams' "Alias." Williams will next be seen starring along
John Turturro in Steve Zallian's series for HBO, "Crime."
Williams made his feature film debut in the urban drama Bullet, after being
discovered by the late Tupac Shakur. He also appeared in Bringing out the Dead,
which was directed by Martin Scorsese. His other film work includes roles in The
Purge 2: Anarchy, The Road, Gone Baby Gone, Life During Wartime, I Think I Love
My Wife, Wonderful World, and Snitch opposite Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon,
Robocop starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton and a supporting
role in the Academy Award-winning Steve McQueen film 12 Years A Slave with
Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt. Williams will next be seen in the features
Captive, opposite Kate Mara and David Oyelowo, Kill The Messenger, opposite
Jeremy Renner and Anesthesia, opposite Glenn Close, Kristen Stewart and Corey
Stoll. He will also be seen opposite Richard Gere in Oren Moverman's Time Out of
Mind, opposite Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson and Chiwetel Ejiofor in John
Hillcoat's Triple Nine and opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's
latest film, Inherent Vice. Williams will also star opposite Queen Latifah in
the HBO Film "Bessie."
Giving back to the community plays an important role in Williams' off-camera
life. He has established Making Kids Win, a charitable organization whose
primary objective is to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that are
in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play. In 2014, Michael also
became the ACLUs Ambassador to end mass incarceration.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Williams began his career as a performer
by dancing professionally at age 22. After numerous appearances in music videos
and as a background dancer on concert tours for Madonna and George Michael,
Williams decided to seriously pursue acting. He participated in several
productions of the La MaMA Experimental Theatre, the prestigious National Black
Theatre Company and the Theater for a New Generation directed by Mel Williams.
Michael Kenneth Williams resides in Brooklyn, New York.