Co-stars, friends and colleagues pay tribute to the life and legacy of actor Treat Williams, after he suffered a fatal motorcycle accident on Monday evening in Vermont.
Prolific actor of stage, film and television, Treat Williams died on Monday afternoon as the result of a motorcycle accident. He was 71.
“He was making a left or a right [and] a car cut him off,” Williams’ agent Barry McPherson, told People. “I’m just devastated. He was the nicest guy. He was so talented.” He is survived by his wife, Pam Van Sant, and their two children, Gill and Ellie.
The fire chief for Dorset, VT, where the accident occurred, told the outlet that the other drive apparently did not see Williams before the accident. Williams was airlifted by hospital to a nearby hospital. He was the only one injured in the crash.
In a statement issued to Deadline, Williams’ family shared, “It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Treat Williams has passed away tonight in Dorset, Vermont after a fatal motorcycle accident. As you can imagine, we are shocked and greatly bereaved at this time.”
“Treat was full of love for his family, for his life and for his craft, and was truly at the top of his game in all of it,” the statement continued. “It is all so shocking right now, but please know that Treat was dearly and deeply loved and respected by his family and everyone who knew him.”
“We are beyond devastated and ask that you respect our privacy as we deal with our grief,” the family concluded their message. “To all his fans, please know that Treat appreciated all of you and please continue to keep him in your hearts and prayers.”
Williams got his start on the stage portraying Danny Zuko as part of the original Broadway cast of “Grease.” After launching his film career in 1975 with the film “Deadly Hero,” Williams would go on to amass more than 125 film and television credits, while dipping his toes into the theater still from time to time.
Notable projects include his first Golden Globe-nominated performance in 1979’s “Hair,” which he followed with a second in 1981 for “Prince of the City.” He’s also known for his wide-ranging roles in “1941,” “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Smooth Talk,” “The Phantom,” “The Deep End of the Ocean,” “127 Hours,” and “Second Act.”
He is perhaps best known to more modern fans for his numerous television roles, including a lead role on The WB’s “Everwood” for four seasons, and most recently another lead role on six seasons of “Chesapeake Shores” for Hallmark Channel.
He had recurring roles on “Chicago Fire,” “Blue Bloods,” and “White Collar,” as well as notable guest performances in a wide variety of shows like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “The Simpsons,” “Leverage,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Tales from the Crypt,” and even “Batman: The Animated Series.”
Gregory Smith, who portrayed his son on “Everwood,” called him a “wonderful man and a brilliant actor,” in a statement to People. “Above all, he loved his family so much. I’m very grateful for the time I got to spend as part of his extended tv family. He made an indelible impression on me during my most formative years. I will always cherish my time with Treat and think fondly of his stories, his laugh and his passion for adventure. I’m sending love to his family, Pam, Gil and Elinor. He will be deeply missed.”
Their co-star Sarah Drew echoed Smith’s grief, telling the outlet, “I’m utterly heartbroken by the tragic and sudden death of Treat Williams. My experience working with Treat on Everwood was formative in my life and career. We had a beautiful and extremely close-knit family during our years in Salt Lake City. I learned so much from Treat’s talent and leadership and we have lost a bright light today. My heart goes out to his family.”
“Taxi” star Marilu Henner shared her lifelong friendship with Williams with People, whom she met when they starred together in her first Broadway show, “Over Here” from 1974-1975. He let her stay with them as her career took off. They would also co-star in “Grease” on Broadway and several Hallmark Channel films.
“We never lost touch. We supported each other and we always checked in,” she told the outlet. “He was an extraordinary person. He was so talented. We were a staple in each other’s lives and we were in the Hallmark family. He had great energy and he loved being an actor and he loved his family most of all. And loved his life. This is so painful to all of us who loved him.”
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