Regarded by some as the greatest TV show of all time, The Wire is an almost Shakespearean tale of rival drug gangs in Baltimore, examining how the police, school systems and media interact with them. As a complete and unyielding social commentary on a particular city, it was pretty much unprecedented and still generates interest even several years after it finished.
With so many hardcore fans proclaiming its genius, The Wire helped kick-start the careers of many, with its alumni having gone on to great things in other shows and Hollywood. Here, we look at what has happened to those fearsome gangsters we learned to love on the show.
Stringer Bell – Idris Elba
As drug kingpin Bell, who attempts to shield himself from dirty money with property deals and by influencing politicians, Idris Elba was an instant hit on The Wire and the opportunity has propelled him into the big leagues. Whether it’s playing the titular detective-with-issues in the BBC’s Luther, or Nelson Mandela in the current Hollywood biopic, Elba’s career is going from strength to strength.
Omar Little – Michael K. Williams
The gay predator of the drug scene, Omar was a big favourite among The Wire’s audience. Actor Michael K. Williams has gone on to huge acclaim as Chalky White in HBO’s similarly-sprawling Boardwalk Empire and can currently be seen in Oscar-tipped epic 12 Years a Slave.
Felicia ‘Snoop’ Pearson – Herself
Played by a non-professional actor with a troubled past, Felicia ‘Snoop’ Pearson was one of The Wire’s most feared characters. In reality, Pearson has appeared in several music videos, including hits from ASAP Rocky and Rick Ross, as well as founding her own youth drama school.
Avon Barksdale – Wood Harris
As the dominant drug dealer Avon Barksdale, Wood Harris quickly established himself as a key player of The Wire. He has since starred in several films including Sweetwater, about the first black player in the NBA, and Just Another Day, where two rappers clash. After narrating the documentary Benji, the story of tragic basketball player Ben Wilson, Harris took on a Broadway role in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Marlo Stanfield – Jamie Hector
Jamie Hector played the role of the ambitious and ruthless gangster Marlo Stanfield and since leaving The Wire has appeared in films such as Blackout with Melvin Van Peebles and Just Another Day with fellow Wire star, Wood Harris. He has also played small roles in CSI Miami and Common Law.
So there’s our run-down of what has happened to our favourite gangsters from The Wire. As one of the most acclaimed TV shows of all time, it’s certainly been an excellent springboard for some fantastic talent.