Who is Delaney Williams? Everything About The Wire  Actore

Itziar Morte

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The American character actor Delaney Williams is from Washington, D.C, born on December 12, 1962. He played the homicide sergeant in the HBO drama ‘The Wire’(2002-2008) as a guest star. His character’s name was Jay Landsman. He was also a part of an HBO mini-series, ‘The Corner’(2000), where he had a small role, but his excellence brought him to the eyes of the producers.

These are the same producers who worked on ‘The Corner’ before casting ‘The Wire’.We can also see this man in shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Veep, Cold Case, and The Punisher. Landsman’s love for porno magazines and surly demeanor aid him in engaging his audience with humor and entertainment and stealing the scenes he is in. But in real life, he is an entirely different person from the character he plays on the screen in the series ‘The Wire’. 

Where does he stay now?

He is originally from Washington, DC, but presently, he keeps traveling between New York and DC-Baltimore area.

Delaney Williams’ hobbies

He more or less has the same hobbies as everyone else, such as watching a decently good television show, going to the cinemas, going out with friends to hang out or have dinner, or playing tennis as a sport and also sometimes basketball. He even likes reading a lot, and he is a huge fan of theatre as well. 

Delaney Williams’ Relationships and Love Life

Delaney Williams got hitched to the only love of his life in 1991. His wife’s name is Susanne M Delaney. There is not much information available regarding how they met at first, as Delaney Williams is a very private person and prefers to keep his personal life quite lowkey and prefers to stay professionally known for his work and art. 

Even there is no information gathered regarding where they got married and changed vows with each other. 14 years after their happy and fulfilling married life, suddenly, things started getting a bit sour, and Delaney, being not able to focus on his career, decided to part ways, and so was the choice of his wife as well. But currently, if he is married or single or dating is not known, and no information is available over the internet about this.

How did he get into acting?

His father was an actor as well when he was around the age of 12 or 13. His father was a part of community theatre and he decided to go with his father to see what his father did. Then he auditioned for a very small role while his father also auditioned for another role, Williams ended up getting the role, but his father could not make it. Since then, he has been hooked on acting. He did some acting-related kinds of stuff in high school and also in his college for a few years.

Later, he did a lot of stage work, which was almost for the run-time of 20 years. Film and television came into his life much recently for over a decade, and it is now his earning source and passion. But even now, he performs one or two shows on stage every year. 

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He always did well enough on stage, but it is a very difficult decision to make of choosing acting as a profession since success might or might not come and requires a lot of struggle to get to the top. He adds in an interview that if somebody is looking for a secure future with good money, this is probably not the best option to choose, but one opts for this out of love for acting. 

In an interview, he was asked if he wanted to quit acting and do something else, to which he replied that he had this feeling every day because these works come with a lot of rejection and hassle, so he was always giving up and again getting all of himself back together to keep trying and perform well. But after he entered the television and film world, his life had been treating him fairly well enough, and he has been stable for a decade now.

From Stage to the Big Screen

DC has given birth to several popular celebrity faces; amongst those are Taraji P. Henson and Jon Bernthal. Once somebody gets into the acting world, there is no way to go back. Williams was a full-time stage actor and was also doing other jobs to run the family. He would do rehearsals, and stage shows in the evenings. Delaney still considers his theatre days as most rewarding and fruitful, but he had to turn down higher-paying union acting jobs for his day shift work, so he and his wife decided that he would pursue acting full time.

His life before ‘The Wire’

He appeared on a show called ‘Homicide’ for an episode, and most of the actors in the DC-Baltimore area worked on that show. He mostly worked on David Simon’s projects, and David Simon is even the writer of the book that the show ‘Homicide’ is based on ‘The Corner’, a show that had been a turning point in his life so far. Initially, his role had a very small part but later, that turned out so well that they wrote another episode for the character in the show ‘The Corner’.

The director was so pleased with his exceptional acting skills and work that since then, he started getting more work, and it is this show, ‘The Corner’, which paved the way for his role in ‘The Wire’. And the miniseries ‘The Corner’ did so well on HBO that they took David’s idea of working on ‘The Wire’. 

He readily received a call afterward to read for a role, and since Bob Colesberry and David Simon remembered him from ‘The Corner’, it was their joint decision to bring him back. 

Why was his character Jay Landsman named after a real person?

The name was very accurately selected by director David Simon to give a sort of homage or tribute. David actually wanted to pay respect to somebody he knew when he did follow the homicide unit for about a year in Baltimore, and this happened before writing the book ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’.

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Delaney Williams’ Experience when he met real Jay Landsman

When he met the real man, Delaney learned that Jay really loved the show, they took pictures together, and he met the real man many times, and his experience of the meeting was altogether fun. Jay really enjoys the show for it talks about his wish of working in the Police Department of Baltimore City or any big police agency.

How Delaney Williams executed the character of Jay Landsman?

He confessed in an interview that the director gave no separate direction to execute the character. He just knew that the character existed in a real person, and it was partially scripted. Though Delaney did not meet him in person until the end of the first season, and even the story is not really based on the person. The real Jay Landsman worked for the Baltimore City Police Department and now works in Baltimore County. 

But that was one of many things which he could see in the write-up, and he had an idea of how the directors would like it to go. He auditioned for the character, and after being selected, they started working on the show; he gave his utmost efforts to bring out the character, and later after the show was aired and the appraisal his characters received, Delaney could easily think he did justice to the character and that both audience and director were very satisfied with his work.

Perhaps Delaney’s expertise in theatre helped him to make certain predictions, and the choices he made to execute the character worked really well and gained the interest of the director. Delaney did a wonderful job in showcasing all the character traits of Jay Landsman on the screen, which were scripted.

How the city of Baltimore is showcased in ‘The Wire’

Delaney talks about this in that interview the storyline and cinematography did great in elucidating the minute details of Baltimore city. It is mostly correct about the specific things which are addressed in the show. Most of the scenes are shot in the city itself, in the exact same locations, in order to retain the originality of the story. Everything that is filmed on the soundstage is precisely remodeled from places inside Baltimore city.

The off-stage artist Vincent Peranio who was assigned to structure the look of the show was a long-time artist of Baltimore city for many years, and he beautifully painted the nitty-gritty in exquisite detailing. Since he knows Baltimore inside and out, that made his work easier to retain the subtleties in his work. The scenes involving Delaney, which are mostly shot in the homicide office, are all filmed on a soundstage.

The first season was shot on the 5th or 6th floor of 100 Northwest Charles Street and one can get to see the real buildings outside of 100 Northwest Charles Street as the exteriors. When the cast again had to go inside a soundstage for the next season, the interiors and exteriors were recreated by keeping every minute detail intact.

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People’s response after the show ‘The Wire’

The response was always positive and never anything negative or discouraging. Especially when the show was aired, Delaney used to get randomly stopped as he walked down the street by his fans. Then people would shower him with admiration mentioning how much they liked the show and his character as Jay Landsman. These appreciations reaffirmed his good work in the show and that people could very much relate to the storyline and the problems in a city, which are very common aspects.

Thus, Delaney felt successful as an actor as he could be a part of this work of art and could properly do his role. The show ‘The Wire’ states different problems in the city of Baltimore, and by doing this, it creates a dialogue or communication with the common public as they very much feel the same way living in the city.   

His Film Career

He worked in ‘Homicide: Life on the Streets’ released in the year 1998 as Joey Grimaldi(seen in 1episode), ‘The Corner’ released in the year 2000 as Scale Guy (seen in 2 episodes), ‘The Wire’ released in the year 2002-2008 as Sgt. Jay Landsman (seen in 45 episodes), ‘The West Wing’ released in the year 2003 as the reporter(seen in 1 episode), ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ released in the year 2004 as Ernie Dominguez(seen in 1 episode), ‘Cold Case’ released in the year 2004 as Fred Calvin (seen in 1 episode), ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit released in the year 2010-2020 as Defense 

Delaney Williams’ Estimated Net Worth

His income has only been growing since 2020, and by 2021 he came to a very stable position financially. ‘The Wire’ was a huge success turn for him, bagging a lot of money and only getting him richer. At the age 59years old, his income source was only acting in TV series and films, so when his entire income was calculated by keeping into account his salary, all incomes, and assets, his net worth was around $1Million-$5Million.

Delaney Williams in person

Delaney clearly states multiple times that he is not the exact person people see on television. The public tries to relate his physical form as Jay with Delaney, but his reactions, gestures, and behaviors are entirely different from that of his TV character. He often receives comments on what bad or good he has done in the show, but Delaney clears out that all of that is scripted, and that it is not really him. The storyline has got nothing to do with how he is as a person in real life. Delaney suggests keeping the reel separate from the real.

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