As reported by Variety, Willie Garson—best known as Carrie’s best friend Stanford Blatch on Sex And The City and as con artist Mozzie on USA’s White Collar—has died. The news was confirmed by an Instagram post from his son, Nathen, who he adopted in 2009. In the post, Nathen Garson referred to his father as “the toughest and funniest and smartest person I’ve known.” A cause of death has not been released, but People says he died “following a short illness.” Garson was 57.
Born in New Jersey in 1964, Garson got a theater degree from Wesleyan University and later graduated with a Masters Of Fine Arts from the Yale Drama School. He first started acting on TV in the ‘80s, popping up on Cheers, Family Ties, and My Two Dads. His first semi-regular gig came near the end of the decade when he appeared on Mr. Belvedere a few times, followed by more one-off roles in shows like Twin Peaks and Quantum Leap (where he played Lee Harvey Oswald) as well as in movies like Groundhog Day and The Rock.
By the later half of the ‘90s, more recurring TV roles started to come in, like on Ask Harriet, Party Of Five, and NYPD Blue (alongside single episode appearances on Friends, Early Edition, Just Shoot Me, Spin City, and The X-Files). His big breakout came right alongside all of those, though, when he got the job playing Stanford on Sex And The City. Garson reprised the role in the two Sex And The City Movies and had reportedly been filming recently on HBO’s revival series, And Just Like That.
Garson stayed in the HBO family after Sex And The City, playing Meyer Dickstein on the short-lived John From Cincinnati, but his second big breakout role came shortly after that when he joined White Collar as lovable con man Mozzie (he appeared in all 81 episodes of the show). In more recent years, Garson had recurring roles on Hawaii Five-0 and Supergirl, and he recently had a voice appearance on Netflix’s Big Mouth.