Sex and the City
“Not everyone looks like Brad Pitt. There are people in the world that look like me. I think people feel that I could be living next door to them. That has much more effect on me.” Willie Garson
Supporting actor Willie Garson is best known for playing the flamboyant gay confidante, Stanford Blatch, on the HBO popular series “Sex and the City” (1998-2004), starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, and on the movie version of the same name (2008). Three years after the show departed the airwaves, he returned to HBO to play Meyer Dickstein, an attorney, in “John From Cincinnati” (2007). The show, however, only had a short life. Garson has also appeared in countless TV series, including “Mr. Belvedere,” “Quantum Leap,” “The Practice,” “Melrose Place,” “Party of Five,” “NYPD Blue,” “Ask Harriet,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: Miami,” “Stargate SG-1” and “Pushing Daisies.” On the wide screen, the gifted actor has amassed over 50 credits to his resume since entering the industry in the late 1980s. He has worked with the Farrelly Brothers in three of their films, “Kingpin” (1996), “There’s Something about Mary” (1998) and “Fever Pitch” (2005). Other directors he has worked with include Harold Ramis (1993's “Groundhog Day”), Michael Bay (1996's “The Rock”), Tim Burton (1996's “Mars Attacks!”), Spike Jonze (1999's “Being John Malkovich”), Mike Nichols (2000's “What Planet Are You From?”), the Malloy Brothers (2001's “Out Cold”), Mark Waters (2005's “Just Like Heaven”), Jake Kasdan (2006's “The TV Set”) and Lara Shapiro (2009's “Labor Pains”), among others. Moviegoers should look forward to his performance in the upcoming comedy “Ashley's Ashes” (2009).
In May 2005, the graduate of Highland Park High School was inducted into his school's Hall of Fame. Garson has participated in the nonprofit organizations Big Brothers and Young Artists United. An accomplished poker player, Garson competed in Bravo's hit show, “Celebrity Poker Showdown,” in 2003 and ended up winning his round of “Texas Hold 'Em.”
Yale Drama School
Childhood and Family:
William Garson Paszamant, professionally known as Willie Garson, was born on February 20, 1964, in Highland Park, New Jersey. He began his training at The Actor's Institute in New York when he was 13 years old. After graduating from Highland Park High School in 1982, he went on to pursue theater and psychology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, the same university once attended by actress Dana Delany and TV series creator Joss Whedon of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame. Willie also studied at the renowned Yale Drama School.
According to “People Magazine,” Willie is in the process of adopting an 8 year old boy named Nathan. He had been living with the child since February 2009.
John from Cincinnati
Willie Garson entered show business in 1986. He made his TV movie debut in the NBC television film “The Deliberate Stranger” (1986), starring Mark Harmon as the serial killer Ted Bundy. Later that same year, he was cast as the assistant of George Wyner in the ABC family film “The Leftovers,” directed by Paul Schneider. He also landed guest spots in such TV series as “Family Ties,” “Cheers” and “You Again,” but it was not until he won the role of Carl, the best friend of Kevin (played by Rob Stone) in the Christopher Hewett-led sitcom “Mr. Belvedere” that Garson made his debut as a recurring player. He was on the show from 1986 to 1989.
In 1989, Garson had a small role in the comedy film “Troop Beverly Hills,” starring Shelley Long, Craig T. Nelson and Betty Thomas. He went on to appear in the cult favorite “Brain Dead” (1990), directed by Adam Simon and starring Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton, the Renny Harlin classic “The Adventure of Ford Fairlane” (1990), opposite Andrew Dice Clay, Wayne Newton, and Priscilla Presley, Bob Logan's “Repossessed” (1990), starring Linda Blair, Ned Beatty and Leslie Nielsen, Sandy Tung's “Across the Tracks” (1991), with Rick Schroder and Brad Pitt, Michael Hoffman's “Soapdish” (1991), with Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg and Teri Hatcher, and “Mobsters” (1991), starring Christian Slater. He portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald in “Ruby” (1992), adapted from a play written by British screenwriter Stephen Davis, and Bill Murray's assistant, Kenny, in the comedy “Groundhog Day” (1993), for director Harold Ramis.
The following years found roles in Michael Becker's “Cityscrapes: Los Angeles” (1994, with Adam Scott, Max Perlich and Ione Skye), Steve Bing's thriller “Every Breath” (1994, starred Judd Nelson), Ron Underwood's “Speechless” (1994, starred Michael Keaton and Geena Davis), Gary Fleder's “Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead” (1995, starred Andy Garcia and Christopher Lloyd), “The Tie That Binds” (1995, starred Daryl Hannah and Keith Carradine), John Putch's “Alone in the Woods” (1996), “The Destiny of Marty Fine” (1996), Michael Bay's “The Rock” (1996, starred Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris), Tim Burton's “Mars Attacks!” (1996, starred Jack Nicholson and Glenn Close) and D.J. Caruso's “Cyclops, Baby” (1997). Garson also appeared with Woody Harrelson in “Kingpin” (1996) and Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz in “There’s Something about Mary” (1998). Both of the comedies were directed by the Farrelly Brothers. Subsequent credits include the Holly Hunter/Danny DeVito starring comedy “Living Out Loud” (1998), Donal Lardner Ward's “The Suburbans” (1999), the Spike Jonze-directed “Being John Malkovich” (1999) and Ron Shelton's sport-themed “Play It to the Bone” (1999, starred Antonio Banderas and Woody Harrelson).
Throughout the 1990s, Garson also worked in a number of television projects. He delivered a controversial role as assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in two episodes of the NBC series “Quantum Leap” (1992) and guest starred in such series as “L.A. Law,” “Boy Meets World,” “MADtv,” “Mad About You,” “The X Files,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Caroline in the City,” “Ally McBeal,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Just Shoot Me,” “Friends,” “Early Edition” and “Nash Bridges” (1999). He also had recurring roles in “Pig Sty” (2 episodes, 1995), “The Practice” (2 episodes, 1997), “Melrose Place” (2 episodes, 1997-1998) and “Party of Five” (3 episodes, 1998). The busy actor was also cast as Detective Simone's (played by Jimmy Smits) friend in seven episodes of ABC's “NYPD Blue,” a role he played from 1996 to 1999, and Ronnie Rendall in the short-lived Fox sitcom “Ask Harriet” (1998).
However, Garson did not hit the big time until he won the role of Stanford Blatch, Sarah Jessica Parker's best friend, in the HBO hit series “Sex and the City.” He was on the show from 1998 to 2004, during which time he became one of the show's best supporting characters.
Entering the new millennium, Garson offered a noted supporting turn as Agent Norm in the Mary-Kate/Ashley Olsen family film “Our Lips Are Sealed” (2000), played Bones in two episodes of the short-lived UPN series “Level 9” (2000) and had the important supporting role of Ted Muntz in the sport-oriented film “Out Cold” (2001), opposite Jason London, Lee Majors and David Koechner, before assuming the role of Dr. Kreutz in the miniseries “Taken” (Sci-Fi Channel, 2002), executive produced by Steven Spielberg and the show's creator Leslie Bohem. He could also be seen in episodes of “City of Angels” (2000), “Spin City” (2000), “Special Unit 2” (2001 - 2002), “Greetings from Tucson” (2003),“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2003), “All About the Andersons,” “Yes, Dear,” “The Division,” and “Monk” (all 2004), as well as in such movies as Mike Nichols' “What Planet Are You From?” (2000, starred Garry Shandling, Annette Bening, John Goodman, Greg Kinnear and Ben Kingsley), John Mallory Asher's comedy “Thank Heaven” (2001), Everett Lewis' “Luster” (2002, as Sonny Spike), Lindsay Lohan's “Freaky Friday” (2003), Gary Burns' “A Problem with Fear” (2003), “House of D” (2004), a comedy directed, written by and starring David Duchovny, and Wallace Wolodarsky's “Seeing Other People” (2004).
Garson was reunited with Bobby and Peter Farrelly after seven years for the romantic comedy “Fever Pitch” (2005), where he was cast as one of Ben’s (played by Jimmy Fallon) best friends. It was followed by appearances in Mark Waters' “Just Like Heaven” (2005, starred Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo), Mark Levin's “Little Manhattan” (2005, with Josh Hutcherson, Charlie Ray, Bradley Whitford and Cynthia Nixon), Jake Kasdan's “The TV Set” (2006, as Brian) and Peter Hewitt's “Zoom” (2006, starred Tim Allen, Courteney Cox and Chevy Chase).
Following recurring roles in “Stargate SG-1” (as Martin Lloyd), which he completed in 2006, and “CSI: Miami” (2005-2006, as Ian Sutter), Garson returned as a series regular in HBO's “John from Cincinnati,” which ran from June to August 2007. After the demise of the show, Garson guest starred in the TV series “Chocolate News” (2008), “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Medium” and “Mental” (all 2009).
Meanwhile, Garson managed his big screen presence by taking on roles in Charles Dennis' comedy “Hard Four” (2007, as Orville Chisholm), James Sherman's “Beau Jest” (2008, as Joel Goldman), Frank E. Johnson's “Shannon's Rainbow” (2009, as Richard) and Lara Shapiro's “Labor Pains” (2009, as Carl). He also reprised his popular TV role of Stanford Blatch on the big screen version “Sex and the City: The Movie” (2008), directed and written by Michael Patrick King, who also co-produced the film with the TV series writer Darren Star and star Sarah Jessica Parker.
Garson will play Limus in the upcoming comedy film “Ashley's Ashes” (2009), jointly helmed by Christopher Hutson and Chris Kazmier. Costars in the film include Googy Gress, Gigi Rice, Thomas Kijas, Eileen Galindo, Orson Bean and Christian Clemenson.
In addition to TV and film work, Garson has been involved in theater companies in New York such as the Naked Angels, The Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Roundabout Theatre. He has also worked with the Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse. Theater credits include “The Crackwalker,” “The Winslow Boy,” “The Heart Outright,” “Topics of Our Time,” “Naked at the Coast” and “Big Al.”