Willie Garson, who rose to fame playing Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City,  passed away on September 21, after a battle with cancer. Garson was 57  years old.  

The hardworking actor had amassed more than 170 television and film credits  since his first on-screen appearance in 1986. However it was his role as  Stanford Blatch, the ‘gay best-friend’ to Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah  Jessica Parker, which made him a household name. The actor appeared in all  six seasons of the show, which ran from 1998-2004. 

Garson, who also appeared in the Sex and the City films, was shooting And  Just Like That…, the revival of Sex and the City for HBO Max at the time of  his death. 

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Stanford Blatch and Carrie Bradshaw’s friendship mirrored the real-life, long lasting friendship between Garson and Parker, and the two friends spoke  daily. 

Tributes Pour In For Beloved Actor

Sarah Jessica Parker and Willie Garson in ‘Sex And The City’.

Tributes for the actor flowed across social media, with loving remembrances  from Cynthia Nixon, Mario Cantone (his Sex and the City on-screen partner),  Ben Stiller, Jason Alexander, Sharon Lawrence, Rob Morrow, Mia Farrow and  Daniel Dae Kim amongst many others. 

Michael Patrick King, an Executive Producer on Sex and the City, in a tribute  to Garson in USA Today said, “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 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.”  

HBO, the company behind Sex and the City, memorialised the actor, saying  in a statement. “Willie Garson was in life, as on-screen, a devoted friend and  a bright light for everyone in his universe. 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 Was Terrified Of Being Offensive To The Gay Community

Garson’s highly prolific career also included a starring role as con-man  Mozzie in the series White Collar, which ran from 2009-2014. His many other  credits included The X-Files, Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., SupergirlCSI:Miami, Stargate SG-1, Ally McBeal, Cheers, and Family Ties. 

Garson, graduated with a B.F.A in Theatre from Wesleyan University and later  received his M.F.A from the Yale School of Drama.

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Garson, who in real-life identified as heterosexual, told the Huffington Post  UK that he felt a lot of responsibility in his portrayal of Stanford. Garson said,  “Most of the pressure I felt was to not be offensive. I didn’t want to offend the  community at all, and that was a really big concern of mine. To the point  where I didn’t even have HBO for the first three years, because I didn’t want  to see it, because I was so terrified of being offensive. But, the gay  community really rose up, and said ‘we know people like this, this is real.’ And  so that made me feel great, and I could start watching the show.” 

“It was also very important to the show, to show someone having fun being  gay, being proud, open and comfortable with who they are. You know, we’d  just come through the crisis and every representation of gay was kind of dark,  and spoken in hushed tones,” Garson said. 

A Final Message

Garson is survived by his adopted son Nathen Garson, 20.  The actor was an outspoken advocate for adoption and twice served as a  spokesperson for National Adoption Day. Garson’s son wrote an eloquent  tribute to his father on Instagram. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nathen Garson (@nathen_garson)

Garson, spoke of his son in a 2020 interview with Page Six. “He’s an adult  and soon to be taking care of me which is really why I got him to be honest.  He’s lovely and a really special guy. He’s wonderful and he’s in college in  Ohio.” 

“I had a long relationship off and on for like 20 years, and she never wanted  to have a child, which is fine, and it was like my mid-life crisis. Like, I really  wanted a child more than anything else. And I got one and we’re partners, my  kid and I,” Garson said. 

Garson’s final tweet, which he posted on September 5, read simply, “BE KIND  TO EACH OTHER……ALWAYS. LOVE TO ALL. APRROACH KINDNESS.”

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

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