Donnie Andrews, the former Baltimore stick-up man who inspired the Omar Little character on "The Wire," died Thursday in New York City after suffering a heart attack, "The Baltimore Sun" reports. He was 58 years old.

Andrews spent his youth robbing drug dealers on the West Side of Baltimore, and served 18 years in prison on a murder charge before he was paroled in 2005. While in prison, he was introduced to a recovering heroin addict named Fran Boyd, who was the subject of the David Simon book "The Corner." That non-fiction tale of drug culture on the streets of Baltimore was adapted into an HBO miniseries of the same name that grew into "The Wire."

In an interview with "VICE" magazine, Andrews described how he came to be a character in "The Wire." "They made Omar exactly the way I was. David [Simon] wrote ‘The West Side Story’ [the initial Baltimore Sun article about Donnie] after my conviction in ’86 and they basically had everything down-pat," he said. "The gay part they took from a guy called Billy Outlaw, he was a gay stick-up guy." The character was played by Michael K. Williams, and Andrews was given a small part on Season 4 of the show as a man who helped Omar survive in prison.

After he served his priston sentence, Andrews reformed his life and started a nonprofit organization called "Why Murder?" that offered counseling to gang members and worked with inner-city children.

Simon, the creator of "The Wire," served as the best man at Boyd and Andrews' 2007 wedding. “Everything has a second act and a third act. And everybody gets to write their endings,” he told "The New York Times."

UPDATE: Michael K. Williams tweeted his condolences after learning of Andrews' passing:

Image via: Tim Pierce Flickr.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Best Drama Series

    "Downton Abbey," PBS

  • Best Drama Series

    "Breaking Bad," AMC

  • Best Drama Series

    "Boardwalk Empire," HBO

  • Best Drama Series

    "“The Newsroom," HBO

  • Best Drama Series

    "Homeland," Showtime

  • Best Actor in a Drama Series

    Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

  • Best Actor in a Drama Series

    Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom"

  • Best Actor in a Drama Series

    Steve Buscemi, "Boardwalk Empire"

  • Best Actor in a Drama Series

    Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"

  • Best Actor in a Drama Series

    Damian Lewis, "Homeland"

  • Best Actress in a Drama Series

    Glenn Close, "Damages"

  • Best Actress in a Drama Series

    Connie Britton, "Nashville"

  • Best Actress in a Drama Series

    Claire Danes, "Homeland"

  • Best Actress in a Drama Series

    Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey"

  • Best Actress in a Drama Series

    Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"

  • Best Comedy Series

    "Girls," HBO

  • Best Comedy Series

    "The Big Bang Theory," CBS

  • Best Comedy Series

    "Smash," NBC

  • Best Comedy Series

    "Modern Family," ABC

  • Best Comedy Series

    "Episodes," Showtime

  • Best Actor in a Comedy

    Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"

  • Best Actor in a Comedy

    Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"

  • Best Actor in a Comedy

    Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"

  • Best Actor in a Comedy

    Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes"

  • Best Actor in a Comedy

    Louis C.K., "Louie"

  • Best Actress in a Comedy

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"

  • Best Actress in a Comedy

    Zooey Deschanel, "New Girl"

  • Best Actress in a Comedy

    Lena Dunham, "Girls"

  • Best Actress in a Comedy

    Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

  • Best Actress in a Comedy

    Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"

  • Best Mini-Series

    "Game Change," HBO

  • Best Mini-Series

    "Hatfields & McCoys," History

  • Best Mini-Series

    "The Hour," BBC

  • Best Mini-Series

    "The Girl," HBO

  • Best Mini-Series

    "Political Animals," USA

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Max Greenfield, "New Girl"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Danny Huston. "Magic City"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Ed Harris, "Game Change"

  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series/Mini-Series

    Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Asylum"

  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series/Mini-Series

    Hayden Panettiere, "Nashville"

  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series/Mini-Series

    Archie Panjabi, "The Good Wife"

  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series/Mini-Series

    Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"

  • Best Supporting Actress in a Series/Mini-Series

    Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"

  • Best Actor - Drama

    Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

  • Best Actor - Drama

    Denzel Washington, "Flight"

  • Best Actor - Drama

    John Hawkes, "Lincoln"

  • Best Actor - Drama

    Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

  • Best Actor - Drama

    Richard Gere, "Arbitrage"

  • Best Actress - Drama

    Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"