The soft spoken Baltimore drug dealer who portrayed the Deacon in HBO's hit TV series "The Wire" has died.

"Little" Melvin Williams passed away on Thursday after losing his battle with cancer.

Williams's family confirmed his death to The Baltimore Sun. He was 73.

Williams was the inspiration for the drug kingpin Avon Barksdale (played by Wood Harris).

Williams also had a small role in "The Wire," a series created by David Simon.

Born in Baltimore, Williams ruled a drug empire that moved more heroin than any other drug dealer in West Baltimore.

He was eventually arrested in 1984 by retired Detective Ed Burns, who later went on to be a key writer of "The Wire."

After his release from prison, Simon approached him about taking the part of The Deacon in several episodes of seasons 3 and 4 of "The Wire."

  • Let Your Soul Glow

    I remember his episode on American Gangsters. One of the few who got caught and is already out of jail. Didn't remember The Wire was based on him. That was a good show!

  • Gabriella Greentree

    I know I'm super off topic but does any one know when The Wiz will be re-run ?

  • Low E. {CIRCA 1908}

    I HOPE IT'S ON DEMAND

  • MsSincerity

    It's on demand.

  • Justlooking2SayIT

    NBC.COM

    Available until Dec 21

  • Bootcampgirl

    RIP to this man..#neverseenanepiofthewire

  • Bootcampgirl

    It's on Comcast/TimeWarner On Demand

  • Low E. {CIRCA 1908}

    DITTO

  • SummerBaby

    RIP! I thought he had already passed ??

  • Bootcampgirl

    Any of yall seen The Corner?

  • SummerBaby

    I seen it years ago

  • Sexy CJ

    R.I.P.........

  • PettyEyezPrime

    Yuppers

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    R.I.P. bruh. Glad you turned it around before the end.

  • BubblingBrownSuga

    I always thought he was one of the "real" people they had on the show because his acting wasn't that great.

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    Ooh, I loved the authenticity that the Baltimore natives brought to the show. I didn't dislike the acting of any of them. Easily the most fact-based show ever made. Easily.

  • BubblingBrownSuga

    With Olivia Pope's mama.

  • Gabriella Greentree

    I keep checking on demand and all I see is the making of and the extras .... not the actual play ?

  • BubblingBrownSuga

    I liked the way they pronounced the word "too," or any word that rhymed with it. Had a little extra something.

  • Endless ONEder

    Wow, he seemed so quiet. I never knew he was bout that life in the past.

  • Gabriella Greentree

    I'm in the country south of Atl... maybe my cable provider is too whack

  • http://totallifechanges.com/PurTEA VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    I want to know too!

  • BubblingBrownSuga

    You never know. Saw Cops a couple of weeks ago. They had caught a known drug dealer after he hit a car trying to get away from them. When the cop started questioning him, he broke out crying, telling them that they were always messing with him. Sitting with his hands cuffed behind him just crying.

  • Bella

    Treme too. They had a lot of Katrina survivors on that show. Made it more authentic.

  • Gabriella Greentree

    Mr. Greentree told me to step away from the tree... he found it for me

  • Str8tUpMenace

    RIP. I didn't know the wire was based on him. That was a good show.

  • BubblingBrownSuga

    Wendell Pierce is a good man, on screen and off.

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    The Wiz Live! on Thursday drew 11.5 million total viewers and a 3.4 demo rating (per fast finals)

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    RIP

  • http://Copblock.org aDingoDrankMyBabies

    I'm one of the few, if not the only...People in my financial network who have never seen an episode of the Wire?? Even the goofball White folks amongst my circle rave about it...I just nod and smile?? They've seen something Black...ish...That I've never seen. Whoopty doo?? Own every single volume (1-69) of Blackstreet Hookers on blue ray...Then come talk to me?? Have the all anal volume (#44 back door) autographed by several of the stars?? Yeah, then come talk to me??

  • Too Many Colors

    Easily the most fact-based show ever made. Easily.
    ^^^^^
    Yep. ?it was written by a reporter.

  • MISSMEWITDATBULL

    Didn't know he was profiled on American Gangsters. I'll have to look for that episode.

  • http://Copblock.org aDingoDrankMyBabies

    Hey girl?? Saw a bit of the Wiz?? One of the lil Munchikkens was fione? Had lots of dialogue too-okaaaay???? Background my arse????

  • Too Many Colors

    Same dude. ?

    I loved loved that show. HBO screwed that show OVER to me. Big time.

  • Too Many Colors

    Same damn man.

    The Wire, The Corner, Treme, Homicide TV shows. David Simon. He rocks!

  • Too Many Colors

    RIP sir.

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    :love:
    Go look at tvline . com
    'The Wiz Live': Best and Worst Moments

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    WHALE we can watch it together :ashamed: because ummerrruhhh I've never seen it either. :shrug: We can watch it like ah Book Club and discuss :dead:

  • http://Copblock.org aDingoDrankMyBabies

    Sounds like a plan?? We can also watch Blackstreet Hookers together?

  • Brownie

    RIP Mr. Williams. A friend of mine thought it was crazy that I never watched The Wire and purchased the complete series. It's sitting my library unopened. I should watch this winter or summer.

  • Gabriella Greentree

    I lost too many family members to the DMV drug game of the 80's too really find those types of shows entertaining

  • Str8tUpMenace

    Sooooo, that "rapper" Stitches (another internet troll), that's been taunting The Game, just got knocked the fugg out by Game's manager. He was waiting outside the club, talking about, "where Game at?"

    When Game and his crew came walking out, that fool went walking up to them, and Game's manager knocked his azz out. LMAO.

    When Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down - Live.

  • L.T.L. Since 2007

    That shyt was funny as hell. I think he thought he was safe because it was so many cops out there.
    His manager literally gave no fukks, and still stretched him the hell out.

  • Str8tUpMenace

    LMAO. He laid his ass all thee way out. Did you see where the cops had their guns drawn at Stitches' azz, too. Dude had a bad night all around.

  • http://Copblock.org aDingoDrankMyBabies

    When I saw the best and worst I didn't know what you was leading me to??? I see they thought he was cute too, heeeeey-I'm jelly?? *calls agent*?????

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    LOL

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    I read about it on zmt :hahaha: Hilarious-cops thought he was about to do a drive-by :crying1:

  • southern

    Did you see the pics baby that lip is fat as hell

  • southern

    I too have never seen The Wire. HBO ran a marathon a while back I still didn't watch

  • southern

    ##shakes head real fast## No

  • MotherOfDragons, GetOffMyENuts

    He calls himself Stiches and got knocked out...did he need stiches afterwards?

  • MotherOfDragons, GetOffMyENuts

    R.I.P. Melvin Wiliams.

  • puppylove

    Yes, yes he did.

  • 1/8

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    If it's any consolation they didn't glamorize it. The drug dealers stayed getting killed and imprisoned. The writers didn't care if viewers loved the character or not. Actually, I doubt that would make you like it any better.

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    Never heard of it. I gotta check it out if it's not on some premium channel that I don't have.

  • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

    I say weren't instead of wasn't on here because of The Wire.

  • Readytochokemothernatureonout

    Rest in peace. Condolences to his family.

  • Gabriella Greentree

    They didn't glamorize it, but you know how my generation ( I'm 25 ) idolizes that type of stuff... I see too many wanna be thugs down here in the south and sometimes I look at them like "REALLY ?" I have a 12 yr old cousin in bowie that will ruff u up real quick.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    I still don't get the hype with that show but meh ? I was just okay to me

  • the guest

    David Simon's tribute to Mr. Melvin Williams in life and now in his passing is heartwarming. Mr. Simon honored the struggles and history of inner city Baltimore with dignity. I liked Mr. Williams character and acting on The Wire. He played a character with a mentoring role and deep conscience which was fitting to the elder years his life. The Wire employed many many black and brown and tan and white people in Baltimore for years. Bringing awareness and economic stability to the plight of the Eastside. RIP Little Melvin.

  • the guest

    You must. It is a brilliant show. Might still be able to watch it on HBO GO.

  • the guest

    Right on.

  • the guest

    And employed and uplifted them too.

  • the guest

    Devote a weekend. It is a must see.

  • the guest

    Little Melvin always had stellar legal representation. He was one of the few major black drug traffickers to become legitimately wealthy at one point his operations were worth in the hundreds of millions. Not glorifying his crimes but his indisputable wealth is clearly why his sentences were reasonable. He was also mild mannered and people genuinely liked and respected him. He never spent more than a 12 years stretch in prison. Gave his life to God, sold his story, became an actor, and died free.

    Frank Matthews (not Frank Lucas) never got caught to this day.

  • Let Your Soul Glow

    Now that is VERY interesting! I need to go look him up...

  • the guest

    Ok

  • free

    love the wire, love his character, and glad he had a chance to turn his life around. the wire is not just another drug show. it shows inner city life--going into great detail about schools (my favorite season), middle class workers, unions, media, politics, drugs, law enforcement at all levels, and their effects on society. a glimpse into what's really real. THE best series in television hands down.

  • Wakando Shamar Taylor

    If u have cable its on nbc on demand

  • chappedlippz

    Damn, RIP