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Willie Garson, beloved ‘Sex and the City’ actor, dead at 57


Willie Garson, the actor who played the beloved character Stanford Blatch on “Sex and the City” and real-life best friend of Sarah Jessica Parker, has died. He was 57.

The New Jersey native reportedly passed amid a cancer battle, TMZ reported, and family confirmed his death to Variety.

“Willie Garson was in life, as on-screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe,” an HBO Max spokesperson told The Post. “He created one of the most beloved characters from the HBO pantheon and was a member of our family for nearly twenty-five years. We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.”

His son Nathen, whom he adopted in 2009, wrote a heartbreaking post that he’s glad his dad “can be at peace now.”

“I love you so much papa,” he shared on Instagram. “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.”

“There are no words. I love you dear brother. We are fewer,” wrote “Bosch” star Titus Welliver, with a photo of Garson, on Twitter.

“I couldn’t have had a more brilliant TV partner,” wrote Mario Cantone, who played Stanford’s husband Anthony Marentino on the show. “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.”

Garson’s last post on social media was about kindess on September 4. “BE KIND TO EACH OTHER……ALWAYS. LOVE TO ALL. APRROACH [sic] KINDNESS,” he tweeted.

Garson portrayed Carrie Bradshaw’s gay BFF on the hit HBO series from 1998 to 2004 and was a prominent character in both of the films.

The actor was seen recently on the set of “And Just Like That,” the revival show currently in production on HBO Max.

“The ‘Sex and the City’ family has lost one of its own. Our amazing Willie Garson,” Michael Patrick King, the executive producer of “SATC” and “And Just Like That,” told Variety. “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.”

Fans have been excited about the mysterious reboot, but for Garson, it was “weird” to be playing Stanford again.

“I think the feeling was, ‘Oh, my God, this is so weird, right?’” Garson told Page Six about the cast reuniting for a table read in June. “And also, ‘Oh, my God, this is so completely normal.’ So at the same time, this is the weirdest thing ever and this is literally just like, ‘Oh, here we are again. Another terrific episode.’”

Willie Garson, who played the beloved character Stanford on “Sex and the City,” has died.
Getty Images for Neuro Brands

“The fans have kept us going all this time, and that’s why we do it,” he added. “So God bless us for being allowed to do this. And it’s because of the fans.”

When the show recently shot a brunch scene at the East Pole on East 65th Street, crowds formed around the popular restaurant; it was like One Direction was in town.

“The excitement from the fans was palpable,” East Pole owner Anthony Martignetti told The Post. “When [the cast] got out of the town cars, people were screaming the characters’ names. They were really freaking out for Stanford [Willie Garson].”

Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson are seen filming "And Just Like That..." in July.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson are seen filming “And Just Like That…” in July.
GC Images

But his friendship with Parker, 56, extends to real life, too. Garson told People in 2020 that Parker was “an inspiration to me when I was adopting.” Garson has a son named Nathen, who is around the same age as James Wilki, Parker’s son with Matthew Broderick.

“They’re buddies,” Garson says. “We go out to the beach with them and have a great time.”

He also said they were friends for 20 years before “Sex and the City” and even shared screen time together in 1996 film “Mars Attacks!”

Willie Garson of "Sex and the City" fame has died.
Mario Cantone and Willie Garson in the 2008 film.
©New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

Beyond his iconic character “Stanny,” Garson can be seen in more than 300 episodes of television and more than 70 films, according to his bio, with credits including “Little Manhattan” and “Hawaii Five-0.”

Born William Garson Paszamant, he studied theater at Wesleyan University and received a master of fine arts from Yale School of Drama, Variety reported. Some of the early roles he took in his career were small parts, but huge projects that are beloved today like “Cheers,” “Family Ties,” “Boy Meets World,” “Melrose Place,” “Buffy,” “Ally McBeal” and “The X-Files.” On the big screen, Garson acted in such films as “Being John Malkovich,” “Fever Pitch” and “There’s Something About Mary” and recently lent his voice to the animated series “Big Mouth.”

Garson also co-starred in the 2009-2014 USA Network series “White Collar,” opposite Matt Bomer (“American Horror Story”). In 2012 he told Page Six that he and Bomer bonded on the show from the beginning — because of personal tragedy. 

“When we started the series, I got a call with news that my mother was going to pass away,” Garson said. “I didn’t know anyone on the set. Matt asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I told him my mother was going to die. He hugged me and let me cry. I knew he had my back. That shows on-screen.” Garson adds: “On this show, we’ve been to hell and back — now we’re best friends.”

Beyond “And Just Like That,” which does not have a premiere date yet, Garson was working on TV sitcom “Duke of the Valley.”


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