Sex and the City was full of cheeky turn-of-phrases, brazen mantras and heart-on-your-sleeve confessions, and perhaps none better than from Stanford Blatch.
Willie Garson, who enlivened the role of Stanford with compassion and spirit, died on Sept. 21 at 57. A cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
The news of Garson’s sudden death was confirmed to Variety by a family member. Michael Patrick King, the executive producer of Sex and the City, also said in a statement that “His spirit and his dedication to his craft was present every day filming ‘And Just Like That.’ 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.”
Including his time on Sex and the City and the And Just Like That reboot, Garson appeared in over 300 episodes of television and 70 movies. Born in February 1964, the New Jersey native went on to study psychology and theater at Wesleyan University. He kicked off his acting career with a job on 1982 miniseries The Deliberate Stranger and went on to land roles on Cheers, Family Ties, L.A. Law, The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Boy Meets World and Ally McBeal. His filmography included There’s Something About Mary, Fever Pitch, Mars Attacks!, Being John Malkovich and, of course, the Sex and the City movies. Last year, he lent his voice-over talents to a few episodes of Netflix’s Big Mouth.
Among Garson’s favorite roles was being a dad. In tribute, his son Nathen Garson posted an outpouring of his love on Instagram.
“I love you so much papa. Rest In Peace and I’m so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much. I’m so proud of you. I will always love you, but I think it’s time for you to go on an adventure of your own. You’ll always be with me. Love you more than you will ever know and I’m glad you can be at peace now. You always were the toughest and funniest and smartest person I’ve known. I’m glad you shared you’re love with me. I’ll never forget it or lose it,” he wrote.
A number of Hollywood figure took to social media to pay their respects to the beloved actor, including a number of stars from Sex and the City. Kristin Davis recalled a fond memory before honoring his greatness as a father.
“I first met Willie in 1995 on the spooky nighttime set of the X-files,” she wrote. “He immediately made me laugh. Little did I know that we would have the joy of sharing Sex and the City + And Just Like That together. Willie is beloved by our entire community. He was smarter and funnier than you ever would have imagined. We are bereft without him.”
See below for more reactions.
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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
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
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I love you forever Willie Garson. Rest in peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/MxsBwq5NEa— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) September 22, 2021
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. Rest my sweet friend. I love you. pic.twitter.com/Ia4tg1VK1Y— Mario Cantone (@macantone) 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
#Heartbroken. @WillieGarson has left the earth. God love him. Mensch to the end. Wish I could have hugged him while we reminisced about the run of this play we did at the Geffen. Such a guy, such a Dad, such a gut punch. He loved being an actor, he loved being a father, he… pic.twitter.com/bCayZZLpNQ— Sharon Lawrence (@sharonlawrence) September 22, 2021
I’m stunned, just out of a college lecture to hear of @WillieGarson passing today. I remember when I was in LA years ago and spending a weekend running around town with him in his old 2002tii … I never laughed as much in my life… all love and hugs to family and other friends— Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) September 22, 2021
In shock over the loss of WILLIE GARSON— Diedrich Bader (@bader_diedrich) September 22, 2021
A lovely guy&a great actor who’s been part of our small community of character actors here in Los Angeles as long as i can remember
Always warm & supportive &just,i was always happy to see Will &i can’t believe he’s gone
Prayers for his son
Photography by: Jason LaVeris/Getty Images