Garson’s son Nathen confirmed the news on Instagram: “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 would often speak of his son in interviews.)
A graduate of Yale’s drama school, Garson had TV credits that spanned four decades, but he was best known for two memorable roles: Carrie’s gay best friend Stanford Blatch on HBO’s Sex and the City — a role he reprised in both Sex and the City movies — and con man Mozzie on the USA crime caper White Collar, opposite Matt Bomer. Garson was slated to reprise his role as Stanford on the upcoming Sex and the City revival And Just Like That…, premiering this fall on HBO Max. (TVLine has reached out to HBO Max about the plans for Garson’s character.)
An HBO/HBO Max spokesperson said 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.”
“No matter what project he was on, Willie was always a fan favorite,” an NBCUniversal spokesperson added in a statement. “Nowhere was that more true than on White Collar, where he took the character of Mozzie, an outcast conspiracy theorist, and made him lovable to the core. He will be missed.”
Garson’s acting career started in the 1980s with appearances on Family Ties, Cheers and Mr. Belvedere and continued through the ’90s with roles on Boy Meets World, The X-Files and NYPD Blue. He was a main cast member on the short-lived HBO series John From Cincinnati and later recurred as Gerard Hirsch on CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, reprising the role in a 2019 episode of Magnum P.I. His most recent TV credits were episodes of Big Mouth and Supergirl that aired last year.