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- American actor
- American actress
"Sex and the City" actor Willie Garson died Tuesday at 57, and his co-star Sarah Jessica Parker is mourning her friend in an emotional statement.
The actress who played Carrie Bradshaw paid tribute to Garson, who portrayed her beloved pal Stanford in the series, with a lengthy Instagram post Friday.
"It's been unbearable. Sometimes silence is a statement. Of the gravity. The anguish. The magnitude of the loss of a 30 + year friendship," Parker wrote in the caption alongside multiple photos of the two together.
She also recalled the moments they shared together, adding that their bond "allowed for secrets, adventure, a shared professional family, truth, concerts, road trips, meals, late night phone calls," and much more.
“Willie. I will miss everything about you. And replay our last moments together. I will re-read every text from your final days and put to pen our last calls,” she continued. “Your absence a crater that I will fill with blessing of these memories and all the ones that are still recesses yet to surface.”
Parker concluded her post by reflecting on her last conversation with Garson.
"These were his last words to me. 'Great bangles all around.' Yes. Godspeed Willie Garson. RIP."
A spokesperson for HBO / HBO Max confirmed Garson's death to USA TODAY Tuesday. The actor died after battling pancreatic cancer, according to his obituary published by The New York Times.
"Willie Garson was in life, as on screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe," the statement reads. "He created one of the most beloved characters from the HBO pantheon and was a member of our family for nearly 25 years. We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing and extend our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones."
Garson's gay talent agent character Stanford Blatch was a fan favorite throughout "Sex and the City's" six-season run on HBO from 1998 to 2004. Perpetually single but always fashion forward, with colorful suit-and-tie ensembles that rivaled Carrie's whimsical looks, Stanford was known for his quippy one-liners. ("How can you not have a shrink? This is Manhattan. Even the shrinks have shrinks. I have three.")
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Stanford's candid walk-and-talks with Carrie were highlights of his recurring appearances on "Sex and the City," and his opulent wedding to former rival Anthony Marantino (Mario Cantone) – complete with a Liza Minnelli performance of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" – was one of the outrageous saving graces of the "Sex and the City 2" movie in 2010.
Reading the new scripts for the first time, "my reaction was that they were real and funny and it sounded like us," Garson said. "The new characters are terrific and they just felt very (much) like home in not a forced way. It had a nice, light touch like, '2021, this is who we are.' "
"The 'Sex and the City' family has lost one of its own, our amazing Willie Garson," the show's creator, Michael Patrick King, said in a statement to USA TODAY. "His spirit and his dedication to his craft was present everyday 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."
Garson racked up well over 150 acting credits in his more than three-decade career, with roles in long-running shows including USA's “White Collar” and CBS' “Hawaii Five-O” reboot.
Garson opened up to Page Six in an interview last year about playing a gay character on "Sex and the City," despite identifying as straight.
"For years I didn’t talk about it because I found it to be offensive to gay people," Garson said. "When the question would come up (in interviews) I would say, 'When I was on 'White Collar' no one ever asked me if I was a conman, and when I was on 'NYPD Blue,' nobody ever asked me if I was a murderer. This is what we do for a living, portray people."
He last took to social media earlier this month, tweeting, "BE KIND TO EACH OTHER......ALWAYS. LOVE TO ALL. APRROACH KINDNESS."
Garson adopted a son, Nathen, in 2009 when he was 7 years old. Nathen honored his dad in an Instagram post Tuesday night, calling him the "toughest and funniest and smartest person I've known."
"Rest In Peace and I’m so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much," Nathen wrote. "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."
Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall honor Willie Garson
Tributes also flooded in on Twitter from across the TV world, including the "Sex and the City" stars.
Kristin Davis who plays Charlotte York-Goldenblatt in "Sex and the City" and the upcoming reboot remembered Garson as a "bright light" Wednesday on Instagram.
"He was smarter and funnier than you ever would have imagined. We are bereft without him. But I really want to pay tribute to his fearless commitment to single fatherhood," Davis wrote in the caption to a photo of Garson and his son. "We spoke about being single parents through adoption often. And nothing gave him more joy and pride than his son Nathen."
"We all loved him and adored working with him," said Cynthia Nixon, who plays lawyer Miranda Hobbes in "Sex and the City" and its revival. "He was endlessly funny on-screen and in real life. He was a source of light, friendship and show business lore. He was a consummate professional — always."
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
She added: "Our condolences and RIP dear Willie xo"
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
"I couldn’t have had a more brilliant TV partner," Cantone wrote, sharing a snap of the two. "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."
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
Chris Noth, who played Carrie's love interest Mr. Big, shared a photo of Parker and Garson on Instagram with a caption that simply read "Willie" with heart and broken heart emojis.
Hilarie Burton, Garson's longtime friend and "White Collar" co-star, revealed in an emotional Instagram tribute that she got a tattoo of one of Garson's beloved catchphrases before his death.
"He would pay you the biggest compliment in the world. Tell you that you were the smartest or prettiest or most talented or that your book/show/recipe/charity, etc mattered and was valuable," she wrote. "And right as you’d blush, he’d temper it with 'alright, calm down!' And then laughter. He’d stop you before you could rebuff the compliment."
She continued: "Before I went to see him, I needed him to know how I felt. And @hudsonvalleytattooco was so kind and understanding and got me in the night before my flight. I wanted Willie to know that I was carrying that 'calm down' with me forever."
Burton shared a picture of a letter Garson wrote to her and husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan following their 2019 nuptials, in which he used the phrase while describing his wedding present: "A first edition copy of 'Grapes of Wrath.'"
"Willie was a romantic friend. Deeply thoughtful. Intentional with his effort and attention and devotion," Burton wrote. "Social media is ablaze right now with evidence of that… each person in his life felt special. Spoiled, even. Willie most definitely spoiled me."
Burton said Garson was "a pivotal player in my life," and she vowed to get his memoir published in honor of Garson and his family: "I will see it through."
"This breaks my heart," said his friend and "Modern Family" star Julie Bowen on Instagram. "Willie Garson, a friend who loved me at my worst, (and always let me know it) is gone."
"A dear, funny, kind man and delightful actor," said "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander. "Too soon."
The wonderful Willie Garson has left us. A dear, funny, kind man and delightful actor. Too soon. Rest well. #ripwilliegarson
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) September 22, 2021
Ben Stiller tweeted that he was "sending love" to Garson's son Nathen.
"Your dad was strong and respected in his community of fellow actors and his philanthropy was constant and committed," Stiller added. "I’m grateful I knew him. He was also really really funny."
Daniel Dae Kim shared on Twitter that he was "gutted by this news."
"@WillieGarson was a talented actor and such a loving, devoted father," he continued. "Rest In Peace, my friend."
I love you forever Willie Garson. Rest in peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/MxsBwq5NEa
— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) September 22, 2021
Matt Bomer, who starred on "White Collar" with Garson, also shared a tribute.
"I love you forever Willie Garson," Bomer wrote, along with a picture of the two in costume. "Rest in peace my friend."
Contributing: Charles Trepany, Jenna Ryu
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Willie Garson dead: Sarah Jessica Parker pays tribute to Stanford