“I love you so much papa. 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,” Garson wrote in a post that included photos and video of his father. “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,” he continued. “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.”
“It’s been unbearable,” Sarah Jessica Parker wrote in a lengthy Instagram post Friday, days after Garson’s death was revealed.
“Sometimes silence is a statement. Of the gravity. The anguish. The magnitude of the loss of a 30 + year friendship. A real friendship that allowed for secrets, adventure, a shared professional family, truth, concerts, road trips, meals, late night phone calls, a mutual devotion to parenthood and all the heartaches and joy that accompany, triumphs, disappointments, fear, rage and years spent on sets (most especially Carrie’s apartment) and laughing late into the night as both Stanford and Carrie and Willie and SJ.”
The actress continued, “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. Your absence a crater that I will fill with blessing of these memories and all the ones that are still in recesses yet to surface.”
Garson began his acting career four decades ago, but it was his portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) male BFF Stanford that endeared him to a generation of Sex and the City fans. He portrayed a talent agent, and not one of the central focuses of friendship in the series, but he was often Bradshaw’s companion and confidante through the seasons. Though he was a supporting character, Garson’s Stanford had several showcased storylines, including his courtship and marriage to former rival Anthony Marentino.
“I couldn’t have had a more brilliant TV partner. I’m devastated and just overwhelmed with sadness,” Mario Cantone, who played Stanford’s rival and then husband Anthony in SATC, tweeted. “Taken away from all of us way soon. You were a gift from the gods. Rest my sweet friend. I love you.”
Garson appeared throughout the HBO series’ seasons and also in the franchise’s movies Sex and the City and Sex and the City 2. He was also filming for the show’s revival series, And Just Like That.
While he showcased a sweeter side on SATC, he was also at ease in the decidedly non-friendworthy role of conman Mozzie in White Collar, which he portrayed from 2009 to 2014.
Garson studied theater and earned a masters of fine arts from Yale Drama school. Following graduation, he took on a number of small roles in a variety of popular Eighties TV shows, including Cheers, Family Ties and L.A. Law. He had recurring roles on such series as NYPD Blue and more recently on Supergirl, and also appeared in Nineties classics, including The X-Files, Boy Meets World, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ally McBeal.
His big-screen work included appearances in 1991’s Soapdish, 1993’s Groundhog Day, 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, 1999’s Being John Malkovich, and 2005’s Fever Pitch.
“So deeply, deeply sad we have lost @WillieGarson,” his SATC costar Cynthia Nixon tweeted. “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.”