Treat Williams, the acclaimed actor who starred in films such as Hair and the WB television series Everwood, has died at the age of 71 following a motorcycle accident near Dorset, Vermont.
Williams is survived by his wife of 35 years, Pam Van Sant, 68, and their two children, Gill, 31, and Elinor, 25. The couple married in 1988 and lived in Vermont.
Barry McPherson, Williams’ agent, confirmed the news to People Magazine, saying, “He was killed this afternoon. He was making a left or a right (and) a car cut him off.”
“I’m just devastated. He was the nicest guy. He was so talented. He was an actor’s actor. Filmmakers loved him. He’s been the heart of Hollywood since the late 1970s. He was really proud of his performance this year. He’s been so happy with the work that I got him. He’s had a balanced career.” McPherson added.
Williams’ family also released a statement, saying, “It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Treat Williams has passed away tonight in Dorset, Vt. 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.”
“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. To all his fans, please know that Treat appreciated all of you and please continue to keep him in your hearts and prayers,” his family added.
Treat Williams’ Incredible Career
Williams was a beloved figure in Hollywood. He first rose to fame for portraying George Berger in the 1979 musical film Hair. The performance garnered him a Golden Globe Award nomination.
That same year, he showcased his talent in Steven Spielberg’s 1941, a movie depicting the post-Pearl Harbor panic in the Los Angeles area. Williams’ filmography boasts an impressive array of roles. He starred in The Eagle Has Landed, where he starred alongside Sir Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland. He also starred in Once Upon a Time in America, The Late Shift, 127 Hours, and Prince of the City, which earned him another Golden Globe nomination.
In 1984, Williams’ exceptional portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in the TV movie A Streetcar Named Desire earned him his third Golden Globe nomination.
And in 2002, a new generation of fans came to love Williams when he starred as Dr. Andrew ‘Andy’ Brown in the TV drama series Everwood, which ran until 2006. His performance in the series earned him several accolades, including the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.
An Outpouring of Love and Grief from Colleagues and Friends
Treat Williams’ death has been met with an outpouring of grief from his friends and colleagues. Kim Cattrall, Hilaria Baldwin, Gregory Smith, Emily VanCamp, and Matt Bomer were among the many celebrities who paid tribute to Williams online.
Sex and the City star, Kim Cattrall, 66, shared a photo of her and Williams from their 1999 film 36 Hours to Die.
“I’m in shock! RIP Dear Treat. My condolences to Pam, Gilles, Ellie, and the family. A wonderful actor and friend,” Cattrall posted.
Matt Bomer, 45, played Williams’ son in USA Network’s White Collar. Bomer posted, “This is a tough one, and I don’t like doing this on social media. But I want to share what an absolute treasure Treat Williams was – both as an actor and a person.”
Matt added that Williams was “one of the few actors I’ve worked with who always checked in on me – even years after we worked together,” saying: “Treat – you were an amazing actor and an even better person, and I will miss you. I count myself so blessed to have known you. My heart goes out to your wife and children. Rest in Peace, my friend.”
James Wood, 76, also tweeted, “Treat and I spent months in Rome filming ‘Once Upon a Time in America.’ It can be pretty lonely on the road during a long shoot, but his resilient good cheer and sense of humor was a Godsend. I really loved him and am devastated that he’s gone.”
Everwood Co-Stars Remember Treat Williams
Gregory Smith, 39, who played Williams’ son in Everwood, spoke with People Magazine about his grief, stating, “This news is devastating. Treat was a wonderful man and a brilliant actor. 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.”
Emily VanCamp, 37, who also starred in Everwood alongside Smith and Williams, shared her condolences as well, posting, “The many times we worked together- always wonderful, and I was always excited for the next time. Sending all my love to your family, Treat. Fly high, my friend.”
A Final Instagram Post
In his last Instagram posts, the beloved Everwood actor shared glimpses of his serene country farm in Manchester, Vermont. The pictures showcased the breathtaking scenery, while one video captured the process of cutting hay. The actor playfully captioned the post with “Hay Day,” capturing the joy and tranquility he found in the simple pleasures of rural life.
Earlier the same day, Williams also shared a snapshot of the lush greenery on his grounds. Accompanying the photo was the caption, “There is no better smell than new mown hay.
A Love for Life in Vermont
Having developed a deep affection for Vermont during his childhood family vacations, Williams decided to settle down there. In a 2021 interview with Vermont magazine, he fondly recounted the origins of his love affair with the state and the reasons behind his choice to settle there.
“I bought the house that we’re in 35 years ago. I’ve always had an enormous love for Vermont, both in winter and summer,” Williams recalled. “There was something incredibly special about it to me, and the people here are incredibly honest, real, and good-humored. There’s also always something new to discover somewhere on a dirt road that you’ve never traveled on before.”
Williams added, “I think very few people are lucky as I am to say, ‘I love where I live.’ I don’t have any fantasies of being somewhere else.”
He also noted that having been all over the world, he had never seen a place as stunning as Vermont.
“I have everything I want and need in Vermont. I’ve been all over the world, and I’ve never seen a place as beautiful as Vermont.” Williams said.
On a personal note, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Treat Williams’ family during this difficult time. As someone who was a part of the ‘Everwood fan community and a huge fan myself (I ran the FanBolt’s “Everwood Online” fansite from 2002 till 2007), I can attest to the immense love and admiration we all had for Treat Williams and his incredible work on the series. His talent and dedication to his craft were truly remarkable, and his presence will be greatly missed.