The real Omar from The Wire dies, aged 58


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The Independent Online

David Simon, the creator of what is popularly considered the greatest television show ever made, has often said in interviews that the least plausible aspects of The Wire were the most grounded in reality.

One of these fantastical elements, was a man named Larry Donnell "Donnie"Andrews. As a young man, Andrews made a living in the particularly ballsy manner of ripping off rival drug dealers. In a 2009 interview, he told The Independent: "The word 'future' wasn't even in my vocabulary, because I didn't know if I'd be alive or dead tomorrow. They had a bet in my neighbourhood that I wouldn't reach 21. Well, I'm 55 now. And the people who made the bet? They're dead."

After confessing to his first and only murder in August 1987, Andrews renounced crime, retrained as an electrician and began to work in neighbourhood outreach.

He died of heart complications, in New York City, where he was attending an event for a non-proft charity. On Friday, Michael Kenneth Williams, the actor who played Omar in The Wire tweeted "R.I.P to the original gangsta and a stand up dude."