Sex and the City actor Willie Garson dies aged 57

The much-loved star played Carrie Bradshaw’s gay best friend, Stanford Blanch, in the popular franchise.

Close-up of actor Willie Garson smiling
Image: Twitter @RobMorrow_

American actor Willie Garson died on Tuesday afternoon aged 57. People have reported that Garson had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, and passed away following a short illness, surrounded by his family. The star was famous for his portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw’s gay best friend, Stanford Blanch, in Sex and the City and its spinoffs.

Garson was in the process of revisiting his former role for the show’s reboot, And Just Like That, which is currently in production, with producer Michael Patrick King releasing the following statement:

“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.”

Stanford Blanch, Garcon’s Sex and the City character married Anthony, played by Mario Cantone who also paid tribute to his friend and colleague on Twitter.

“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.” He tweeted.

While Willie Garson himself was straight, his character offered important representation for many in the LGBTQ+ community. The actor remained quiet about the fact that he wasn’t queer during the run of the show as he didn’t want to offend anyone, and in an interview with Page Six last year, he mentioned “People playing gay characters jumping up and down screaming that they’re not gay, like that would somehow be a bad thing if they were.”

While he never married, he adopted a son who posted a touching message to Instagram.

HBO issued the following statement in relation to the star’s death, saying: “Willie Garson as 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.”

Willie Garson (1964 – 2021) Rest in Power.

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