Acclaimed actor and Los Angeles resident Willie Garson passed away on September 21 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, he was 57 years old.
Better known for his role as Stanford Blatch, Carrie Bradford’s gay best friend in the Sex and the City series from 1998-2004 and in the 2010 movie sequel Sex and the City 2.
A pivotal character for that time since not many gay characters were being portrayed on television in a positive light.
Garson, who reportedly had been battling cancer, was not gay himself, but took pride in playing a character who could make audiences laugh with Stanford rather than at him. While audiences were being entertained, the actor also hoped the lovable character would make viewers more accepting and tolerant. “It was also very important to the show to show someone having fun being gay, being proud, open and comfortable with who they are,” he told The Huffington Post in 2016.
Garson made the decision to pursue adoption when he was in his mid-40s, having left a long relationship with a woman who did not want children.
The idea of adopting came to him after he had worked with an adoption charity in Los Angeles and realized just how many children were in need of a family. In 2008 he met his son Nathen as a seven-year-old at an adoption fair and the connection was instantaneous.
After more than a year of screenings and paperwork, Nathen officially became Garson’s son in January 2010, and the pair have been like “partners” ever since.
The actor went on to become a tireless spokesperson for adoption, joining the board of You Gotta Believe, an charitable organisation dedicated to helping find loving parents for older children in foster care.
He leaves behind his son Nathen, now 20.