Actor with broad career and the admiration of his peers, grew up in Highland Park, had an agent by high school graduation, 57 William Garson Paszamant, better known as Willie Garson to his many fans and throughout the entertainment industry, noted actor of stage, film, and television, has died at age 57 at his home in Los Angeles. The cause was pancreatic cancer. He was perhaps best known for his role in the iconic HBO television series, Sex and The City. As Stanford Blatch, Carrie Bradshaw's best male friend, Garson was never at a loss for a caustic quip. As his role evolved over the course of six seasons, Stanford was not only hilarious, but also vulnerable at times, as he struggled in his own efforts to navigate sex and the city. Garson followed Sex and the City with a six year run as fan favorite, Mozzie, on the USA hit White Collar. Garson was a beloved presence on the show, where he was again both comic and sometimes vulnerable in his portrayal of a con man with deep connections to the criminal underworld. Garson grew up in Highland Park, New Jersey, son of Muriel Flanagan and Donald Paszamant. At an early age, he knew he was an actor, and had an agent by the time he graduated high school. He went to Wesleyan University for his Bachelor of Arts college degree in theatre and psychology. He moved to Los Angeles at age twenty-one, and within a year, had become what he was destined to be, a working actor. A working actor has been defined as "an actor who while never achieving stardom, has a long and productive career and earns a better than decent living and has the admiration of his peers." Nothing could better describe Garson. For the last four decades, he appeared in over 300 television shows and over 70 films. He worked with many notable directors, such as the Farrelly brothers, Michael Bay, Spike Jonze, and Mike Nichols. Garson acted in many theater productions in New York and Los Angeles, working with such companies as Naked Angels, The Manhattan Theatre Club, the Roundabout Theater and the Geffen Playhouse. Garson was a ubiquitous presence in American pop culture. He could be a classmate of Michael J. Fox on Family Ties or a waiter on a Cheers episode, or L. Harvey Oswald in an independent film Ruby or Bill Murray's assistant in Groundhog Day. He could just as easily be an TV executive in Soapdish as a man with mysterious luck in The X-Files as the president of an apartment board on Friends. Most recently, Garson had recurring roles on CBS' long-running Hawaii 5-O and the CW's Supergirl, and was reprising his role as Stanford Blatch on And Just Like That, an upcoming HBO MAX revival of Sex and the City. Garson was also very involved with many charities, including AMFAR, Camp Joslin for Diabetes, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and especially the Alliance for Children's Rights, which facilitates adoptions in LA County. This has a special place in the Garson family, as Willie adopted his son Nathen in Los Angeles in 2010, and twice served as national spokesman for National Adoption Day. Aside from acting, Garson was known as a world-class poker player, having been nicknamed Evil Willie on the first episode of Celebrity Poker Showdown, and continued to play in tournaments all over the world, both for charity and through the World Poker Tour. Garson is survived by his son, Nathen Garson, brother John Paszamant (wife Karen Paszamant), sister Lisa Clark, nieces Katie Clark , Jenna Clark and Amanda Clark and nephews Joshua Paszamant, Michael Paszamant (husband Scott MacFetters). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations to be made in his name go to the Alliance for Children's Rights. To make a gift to the Alliance for Children's Rights in honor of Willie Garson: Tribute gifts can be made online: https:// allianceforchildrensrights.org/donate/gift/
. Checks can be mailed to: The Alliance for Children's Rights, Attn: Kerri Seibly, 3333 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Los Angeles, CA 90010.
Published by The Star-Ledger from Sep. 22 to Sep. 26, 2021.