Willie Garson death: who did he play in Friends, how did actor die, career of White Collar star - and tributes

Garson was best-known for playing flamboyant talent agent Stanford Blatch, the close friend and confidante of Carrie Bradshaw

Tributes have been paid to Sex And The City actor Willie Garson following his death aged 57.

A spokesperson for HBO and HBO Max said: “Willie Garson was in life, as on screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe.

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“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.”

Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who was Willie Garson?

Garson was born in Highland Park, New Jersey in 1964.

He was best-known for playing flamboyant talent agent Stanford Blatch, the close friend and confidante of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw.

He reprised the role in the two Sex And The City films and had been working on the HBO Max spin-off series And Just Like That.

While Garson’s best known character was a gay man, the actor was straight.

As well as Sex And The City, which originally ran from 1998-2004, Garson was known for his role as Mozzie in police procedural White Collar.

Who did he play in Friends?

In Friends, Garson played Steve Cera, a neighbour of Ross who asked him to make a donation to the building’s caretaker who was retiring, despite Ross having just moved in.

You can find his appearance in The One With The Girl Who Hits Joey, the 16th episode of Season 5.

Who has paid tribute?

Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda Hobbes in Sex And The City, shared a tribute on Twitter.

She said: “So deeply, deeply sad we have lost @WillieGarson. We all loved him and adored working with him. 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.”

Nixon sent her condolences to Garson’s adopted son, Nathen.

Kim Cattrall, who won a Golden Globe for her turn as Samantha Jones, also shared a tribute, writing: “Such sad news and a terribly sad loss to the SATC family. Our condolences and RIP dear Willie xo”

Mario Cantone played Garson’s on-screen partner in Sex And The City.

He said: “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.”

Actor Titus Welliver, a close friend of Garson, was one of the first to share a tribute.

He tweeted: “There are no words. I love you dear brother. We are fewer.”

Rob Morrow, the actor, said: “Our sweet pal #WillieGarson has passed on. Dear soul, rest easy.”

What did he die of?

Garson had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer.

Michael Patrick King, executive producer of Sex And The City and And Just Like That, said Garson had been dedicated to his work even while ill.

He 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 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.”

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