TV

Late Sex and the City star Willie Garson hid real sexuality for fear of offending gay fans

Gary Grimes December 8, 2021
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Willie Garson and Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Sex and the City, laughing

Willie Garson and Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Sex and the City. (Getty)

As the world prepares to welcome Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte back into their living rooms with the premiere of And Just Like That, we couldn’t help but wonder how the late Sex and the City star Willie Garson dealt with speculation over his sexuality during the show’s initial run.

Garson, of course, played Stanford Blatch, gay best friend and confidante to Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw, in what was one of television’s first ever high-profile gay characters.

The actor sadly died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 57 earlier this year.

Speaking to Page Six back in 2020, Garson, a heterosexual man, explained that he actually hid his real sexuality from fans of the show for many years as he didn’t want to offend its gay fans.

For years I didn’t talk about it because I found it to be offensive to gay people,” Garson told the publication at the time.

“People playing gay characters jumping up and down screaming that they’re not gay, like that would somehow be a bad thing if they were.”

“When the question would come up during the show I would say, ‘When I was on White Collar no one ever asked me if I was a conman, and when I was on NYPD Blue, nobody ever asked me if I was a murderer. This is what we do for a living, portray people,’” the actor thoughtfully explained.

Garson also spoke about the level of female attention he began to receive after the show blew up, though not, perhaps, the sort of attention he was necessarily hoping for.

“At the beginning, you would approach someone at a bar and realise, ‘Oh, they want to be Stanford’s best friend.’ They don’t necessarily want to sleep with you,” he laughed.

While Garson will appear in the highly-anticipated Sex and the City rebootthe actor sadly passed away before production had wrapped. Co-star Chris Noth, who plays heartthrob Mr Big, revealed in a recent interview with The Guardian that Stanford was set for a huge storyline in the series.

“It’s sad for everyone, and for the show, because I think he was going to have a really huge storyline. But he’ll be in it to the extent that he filmed,” Noth revealed.

“The last time I saw him was on set and I kick myself because I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him,” the actor recalled. “He was extraordinarily fun and funny and there’s nothing to say but that it’s heartbreaking.”

Showrunner Michael Patrick King recently confirmed in an interview with The New York Times that Garson’s death would not be written into the plot of the reboot, explaining: “Because it wasn’t charming. And I knew that the audience would know.”

More: And Just Like THat, Gay, sex and the city, willie garson

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