Sex and the City star Willie Garson passed away at the age of 57 following a short illness. The actor, who portrayed Stanford Blatch on the show, had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by family at the time of his death, per People.
A New Jersey native, Garson started acting at age 13 and went on to attend Wesleyan University. He was a prolific character actor, with 170 credits to his name. In his best-known role, Garson played Stanford, Carrie Bradshaw's longtime friend and gossip partner. (He uttered the immortal line, "Oh, my god, she's fashion roadkill," when Carrie fell on a fashion runway and was stepped over by Heidi Klum.) After Sex and the City ended, he went on to have recurring roles on USA Network's White Collar, CBS's Hawaii Five-0, and Netflix's Big Mouth. He had also begun filming scenes for the upcoming Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That.
Off-screen, Garson was a devoted single father to his son, Nathen Garson, whom he met as a seven-year-old and adopted in 2010. He was also a staunch advocate for organizations that help find permanent families for children in foster care. Nathen shared his memories of his father yesterday, calling Garson "the toughest and funniest and smartest person I've known."
Garson's costars, friends, and admirers also shared tributes to the beloved actor.
Sarah Jessica Parker
The star of Sex and the City took time with her response following Garson's death and explained why in her tribute post honoring the late actor. The actress shared a sentimental slideshow of photos of the pair on and of the SATC set to accompany her touching note.
"It's been unbearable. Sometimes silence is a statement. Of the gravity. The anguish. The magnitude of the loss of a 30 + year friendship," wrote Parker. "A real friendship that allowed for secrets, adventure, a shared professional family, truth, concerts, road trips, meals, late night phone calls, a mutual devotion to parenthood and all the heartaches and joy that accompany, triumphs, disappointments, fear, rage and years spent on sets (most especially Carrie's apartment) and laughing late into the night as both Stanford and Carrie and Willie and SJ."
So deeply, deeply sad we have lost @WillieGarson. We all loved him and adored working with him. He was endlessly funny on-screen and and in real life. He was a source of light, friendship and show business lore. He was a consummate professional— always. pic.twitter.com/G63EJIj8lG
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) September 22, 2021
The actor and former gubernatorial candidate shared a throwback picture of herself and Garson with a heartfelt message. "We all loved him and adored working with him. He was endlessly funny on-screen and and in real life. He was a source of light, friendship and show business lore. He was a consummate professional— always."
The actor also left a message for Garson's son. "My heart goes out to his son, Nathen Garson. Nathen, I hope you know how much he loved you and how proud he was to be your dad," she wrote.
Kristin Davis posted several pictures, including one of Garson lifting her off the ground in a hug, and another of Garson and Sarah Jessica Parker. She recalled meeting Garson while filming The X-Files and paid tribute to his life as a single father.
"We spoke about being single parents through adoption often. And nothing gave him more joy and pride than his son Nathen. Nathen's strength and wisdom beyond his years are evident in his beautiful tribute to his dad. The outpouring of love is earned dear Willie. I am thankful for all of the time we had and grateful that so much of your bright light is on film forever," she wrote.
The actor, who played Stanford's rival (and future husband) Anthony Marantino on Sex and the City wrote, "I couldn't have had a more brilliant TV partner. I'm devastated and just overwhelmed with Sadness. Taken away from all of us way soon. You were a gift from the gods sweet Willie. Rest …I love you."
Such sad news and a terribly sad loss to the SATC family. Our condolences and RIP dear Willie xo pic.twitter.com/yXhPkxRTv3
— Kim Cattrall (@KimCattrall) September 22, 2021
Kim Cattrall shared a still of herself and Garson from the original show and wrote, "Such sad news and a terribly sad loss to the SATC family. Our condolences and RIP dear Willie xo."
Chris Noth posted a still of Garson and Sarah Jessica Parker from the original series, captioning the photo with a red heart emoji, a broken heart emoji, and the name Willie.
Willie …the kindest most beautiful beautiful man. There are none better. Sleep well my friend. You will always be remembered pic.twitter.com/pikD19hqQP
— David Eigenberg (@DavidEigenberg) September 22, 2021
David Eigenberg, who plays Steve Brady on SATC, wrote, "Willie …the kindest most beautiful beautiful man. There are none better. Sleep well my friend. You will always be remembered."
The Sex and the City creator gave a touching statement to People, describing Garson as "sweet, soulful and hilariously funny."
"Willie touched all of us with his big heart and generous spirit," Star said. "The man behind Stanford was a loving father, a mensch to his friends and radiated kindness to all. He is gone much too soon."
Michael Patrick King
The executive producer noted Garson's dedication to the show, as he filmed And Just Like That... over the past few months.
"The Sex And The City family has lost one of its own, our amazing Willie Garson. His spirit and his dedication to his craft was present every day filming And Just Like That," King told People.
"He was there—giving us his all—even while he was sick. His multitude of gifts as an actor and person will be missed by everyone. In this sad, dark moment we are comforted by our memory of his joy and light."
The Harry Goldenblatt actor wrote that upon meeting Garson, he dubbed him "The Mayor."
"It seemed he knew everyone, and was invited everywhere. The weddings of Elvis Costello and Elton John: Willie was there. I never understood why, or how," he continued.
He added, "The fact is, Willie was a Prince. Not just my Mayor, but the Mayor to every group he ever existed within. Most importantly, Willie was an adoptive parent to a foster child. My heart grieves for his son, for the entire Sex and the City and And Just Like That... universe, and for the world at large. We've lost a consummate funny (and family) man, and they were already in short enough supply."
Jason Lewis, who portrayed Jerry "Smith" Jerrod, told People, "There is a little less joy in the world and it's a bit grayer with the light that was Willie Garson having gone out. He had a wonderful and playful spirit, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to know it."
Garson's White Collar costar posted a heartfelt message along with several pictures of the pair both on and off set. "I love you forever Willie Garson. You live on in our hearts and minds always: and your White Collar family is always here for Nathen. Save a place for me, because you know I want to be at your table up there," he wrote.
No. No. No. Terrific actor. The sweetest man. A great dad. I had a long talk with him before he went back to shoot SITC. He was so excited about what was to come. And so proud of what his son Nathen had become. No. No. No. Love to you Nathen and all who loved sweet Willie.... https://t.co/SoB709Mos6
— Bradley Whitford (@BradleyWhitford) September 22, 2021
Profoundly saddened. Willie Garson (né Paszamant) and I grew up together in Highland Park, NJ. He was on a different trajectory from us from the start; no surprise that he “made it.” He loved New Orleans and his son. He told me I was a shit actor in high school. Love you, Willie. https://t.co/hkwoVNRhjn
— David Kamp (@MrKamp) September 22, 2021
Sending love to @WillieGarson’s son Nathen. Your dad was strong and respected in his community of fellow actors and his philanthropy was constant and committed. I’m grateful I knew him. He was also really really funny.❤️
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) September 22, 2021
Willie Garson was in life, as on screen, a light for everyone in his universe. He created one of HBO's most beloved characters and was a member of our family for nearly 25 years. We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing and extend condolences to his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/EPU4skdLL3
— HBO (@HBO) September 22, 2021
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