Willie Garson, Sex and the City and White Collar star, dies at 57
Willie Garson, who famously starred as Carrie Bradshaw's best male friend Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City and Neal Caffrey's trusted sidekick Mozzie on USA's White Collar, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 57. The cause was pancreatic cancer.
Garson's son, Nathen Garson, shared a touching tribute to his father on Instagram. "I love you so much papa," he wrote. "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."
Several actors who had costarred with Garson in various projects over the years also tweeted about the actor's death, including Rob Morrow, Titus Welliver, and Josh Malina.
Morrow wrote, "Our sweet pal #WillieGarson has passed on. Dear soul, rest easy."
Welliver wrote, "There are no words. I love you dear brother. We are fewer."
Malina responded to Welliver's post and commented, "R.I.P. "Evil Willie." He was one of a kind."
William Garson Paszamant was born in Highland Park, N.J., in 1964. Some of his earliest jobs saw him playing small parts on Family Ties, Cheers, and The New Gidget. As his television career grew, he got meatier parts on Newhart and Mr. Belvedere.
He played three different characters on the Scott Bacula-starring Quantum Leap, including JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, and he appeared in classic shows like L.A. Law and Mad About You.
In 1998, he joined Sex and the City as Carrie Bradshaw's gay bestie Stanford Blatch, a role he played across two films and into the spin-off series And Just Like That, which is set to stream on HBO Max.
"Willie Garson was in life, as on screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe," an HBO spokesperson said in a statement to EW. "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."
Garson also played Mozzie, the con man confidante of Matt Bomer's Neal Caffrey in White Collar, from 2009 to 2014. Bomer shared a photo with Garson on Instagram and a heartfelt remembrance. "Willie. I don't understand. And it's not fair," he wrote. "This past year, you taught me so much about courage and resilience and love. I still haven't wrapped my head around a world without you in it- where I can't call you when I need to laugh, or be inspired. The last thing you did when we said goodbye was pull down your mask (I hate covid), smile, and wink at me. I know that it wasn't reflective of the pain you were going through, but it was indicative of everything you were and are to me: some one who lifted me up, who made me better, and who always, always made me smile. This also reminded me how strong our White Collar family is. We were all there for Willie, and for each other. 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."
"No matter what project he was on, Willie was always a fan favorite," an NBCUniversal spokesperson said in a statement to EW. "Nowhere was that more true than on White Collar, where he took the character of Mozzie, an outcast conspiracy theorist, and made him lovable to the core. He will be missed."
Just last year, Garson opened up about adopting Nathen at age 7 in 2008, telling PEOPLE TV, "Love, it's love. You know, listen, I'm a narcissistic entitled, spoiled actor, so my entire life has been focused on my self until the moment I met Nathan. And then it wasn't and it's a better life."