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How Michael Okay. Williams got the scar that helped launch his career

A battle that erupted whereas actor Michael Okay. Williams was celebrating his twenty fifth birthday left him with a fearsome scar down his face — and proved a turning level in his career.

The 54-year-old actor, who was discovered lifeless of a suspected heroin overdose on Monday, advised National Public Radio that he sustained the ugly damage when he went exterior to get some air throughout a “popping party” at a bar in Queens.

“I saw that two of my other friends were being surrounded by some dudes who I didn’t know. And it looked like they were about to get jumped,” he recalled during the 2014 interview.

“And I said, ‘Yo, I’m ready to leave. Let’s go back. I’m going to go back home now.’”

But Williams stated that “this one dude kept pacing behind me.”

“He kept like, you know, like sucking his teeth, and I’m looking — I’m like, ‘Yo — so what’s up dude? Yo bro, what’s your problem?’” he stated.

“And the dude wiped his hand across his mouth and just — what I thought appeared to be — smacked me, but what he did was he spit a razor.”

Williams got the signature scar on his face throughout a battle whereas celebrating his twenty fifth birthday.
Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

Willams added, “He was positioning the razor in his mouth to get between his middle finger and his ring finger, and then he just went — swiped me down my face, and this cut my face.”

“It was actually the first hit of the fight. So we managed to escape with our lives, barely, that night,” he stated.

But whereas Williams survived the assault, the gash from the razor blade created a particular scar that ran down the middle of his brow, crossed the bridge of his nostril and continued throughout his proper cheek earlier than ending close to his mouth.

At the time, Williams was working as a dancer in music movies for stars together with Madonna and George Michael and whereas the incident left him marked for all times, it additionally got him seen by the administrators with whom he was working.

“Things changed immediately after that. Directors didn’t want me just to dance in the videos anymore,” he stated.

“They wanted me to act out these thug roles, you know, like — ‘Mike, roll these — roll these dice in this video. Have this fight in this video.’ I was like, ‘All right.’”

A short while later, the late rapper Tupac Shakur was filming the film “Bullet” and “happened to see a Polaroid picture of me and was like, ‘Yo, this dude looks thugged out enough that he could play my little brother,” Williams stated.

Williams stated the scar modified the type of roles that he was requested to play.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

That led to a task in the movie and others for NBC’s “Law & Order” and HBO’s “The Sopranos,” and ultimately his breakthrough position as sawed-off shotgun toting “Omar Little” on HBO’s “The Wire.”

“I got to grow with an amazing group of people that I consider my Wire family,” he stated.

“That character changed my life. And that was my big break.”