Willie, who appeared in countless projects throughout his successful career but is best known as Carrie Bradshaw's fashion-savvy confidante Stanford Blatch, has died at the age of 57. The actor, who also appeared on Friends, Supergirl, White Collar, Hawaii Five-0 and NYPD Blue, passed away after battling a "short illness," according to People.
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, his son, Nathen Garson, announced the star's death in an Instagram post, writing in part, "I will always love you, but I think it's time for you to go on an adventure of your own."
In a statement released to E! News, a spokesperson for HBO and HBO Max mourned the passing of Willie, who had been spotted over the summer filming scenes as Stanford for HBO Max's highly anticipated SATC revival series, And Just Like That...
"Willie Garson was in life, as on screen, a devoted friend and a bright light for everyone in his universe," the statement read. "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."
Read on to see emotional messages from some of Willie's SATC co-stars, along with an array of other public figures.
Kim Cattrall: Such sad news and a terribly sad loss to the SATC family. Our condolences and RIP dear Willie xo
Cynthia Nixon: So deeply, deeply sad we have lost @WillieGarson. 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.
My heart goes out to his son, Nathen Garson. Nathen, I hope you know how much he loved you and how proud he was to be your dad.
Chris Noth: Willie [heart and heartbroken emojis]
Mario Cantone: 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.
Evan Handler: This is a tragedy for the entire #SATC #AJLT family, for Willie's family, and for the world. Willie was a prince, the Mayor of every group he ever existed within, and - most importantly - a parent. My heart grieves for his son. A [consummate] funny man. Bless you.
Jason Lewis: There's a little less joy in the world and it's a bit grayer with the light that was Willie Garson having gone out. He had a wonderful and playful spirit and I'm grateful that I had opportunity to know it. Rest easy, my friend.
Darren Star (SATC creator): Sweet, soulful and hilariously funny, Willie touched all of us with his big heart and generous spirit. The man behind Stanford was a loving father, a mensch to his friends and radiated kindness to all. He is gone much too soon.
Julie Bowen: This breaks my heart. Willie Garson, a friend who loved me at my worst, (and always let me know it) is gone. Goodbye, Fatty. I love you always.
Jason Alexander: The wonderful Willie Garson has left us. A dear, funny, kind man and delightful actor. Too soon. Rest well. #ripwilliegarson.
Bradley Whitford: No. No. No. Terrific actor. The sweetest man. A great dad. I had a long talk with him before he went back to shoot [SATC]. He was so excited about what was to come. And so proud of what his son Nathen had become. No. No. No. Love to you Nathen and all who loved sweet Willie....
Kevin McHale: Willie Willie Willie. I'm absolutely heartbroken you're gone. Your presence filled every room you were in. Your generosity with your time and your heart for me and my friends and family was always appreciated more than you could've known (or maybe you did). Watching how you loved Nathen was otherworldly. Thank you for allowing us into your life and for being one of the only people I trusted enough to see during the pandemic, even if over a tennis net. Please keep talking shit at the poker table of wherever you are now. Love you, Willie.
Chad Lowe: Sadly, it is true… Willie Garson has died. He was so talented, so committed to social justice, so loved by so many. But most of all, he was a great, devoted, father. He will be sorely missed.
Bryan Greenberg: This is so sad. I'll miss you @WillieGarson. Much love going out to your family now. I know they meant the world to you.
Rob Morrow: Our sweet pal #WillieGarson has passed on. Dear soul, rest easy.
Matt Bomer: Willie. I don't understand. And it's not fair. 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: someone 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.
Dulé Hill: This is heartbreaking. Love you @WillieGarson. You will be sorely missed #RIP #WillieGarson.
Brenda Strong: Sending love to @WillieGarson as he makes his way to the next stage of life. Keep them laughing Willie. Just know how beloved you were by all.
Marg Helgenberger: Heart breaking! I can't believe this hilarious, talented, & kind soul has left this world. God I had a blast working with Willie Garson on an episode of #CSI Rest in peace sweet Willie.
Titus Welliver: There are no words. I love you dear brother. We are fewer.
Josh Charles: I'm in a state of shock. I can not believe Willie Garson has left us. This is horribly sad news and I am heartbroken for his son and family.
Mia Farrow: Rest in peace @WillieGarson Thank you for your kind heart.
Joely Fisher: Rest easy sweet @WillieGarson …I am so glad I told you I adored you before you left #rip.
Michelle Trachtenberg: The world has lost an incredible talent. What a pleasure it was to spend even a few minutes with @willie.garson. Your light will shine brighter than all of the lights on Broadway. I couldn't help but wonder how many people you inspired throughout your career.