Monday marked what would have been Sex and the City alum Willie Garson’s 59th birthday, who died in 2021 after secretly battling pancreatic cancer.
A few of Garson’s co-stars from the HBO hit TV show took to Instagram on Monday to pay him tribute and wish him a happy birthday.
“Today is Willie’s Birthday,” Kristin Davis began her caption for a photo of her and Garson. “I celebrate all that he has left behind. His incredibly kind and whip smart son @nathen_garson and so many friends with wonderful memories. We struggle with your absence dear Willie. We miss you and quite frankly there is a painful hole in our hearts.
“I can only imagine how Nathen and the rest of the family are coping,” she continued. “I never take my health for granted. And I try to remember to connect and appreciate the people in my life in real time. We miss your humor and silliness on the set and I miss our conversations about our kids. Hope you are flying free dear Willie.”
Willie adopted his son, Nathen, in 2014, and raised him as a single father until his death in 2021. At the time of his passing, Davis posted a tribute to not only his life, but his fearlessness as a single dad.
“We spoke about being single parents through adoption often,” she captioned her post. “And nothing gave him more joy and pride than his son Nathen.”
Nathen also took to Instagram last fall, honoring a year since his father’s death.
“He wasn’t just my father, he was my best friend and a mentor before I even knew what that was,” part of Nathen’s lengthy caption read. “He inspired me when I was younger to be better than I ever thought I could and because of that I try to always do better. I would not be where I am today if not for him. I wouldn’t be who I am if not for him. He taught me to care about others and showed me how to love when all I had ever know was to fight for myself and care only about myself.”
Davis wasn’t alone in honoring Willie’s 59th birthday. SATC alums Cynthia Nixon and Mario Cantone also posted photos of them with Willie and wished him a happy birthday.
“Dear Willie, I am thinking of you today on your birthday,” Cynthia started her message. “I miss you. I miss your sweetness, your snarky sense of humor and and your sublime talent. I miss you when we are shooting. I miss you when not. We are so lucky to have known you but just wish so much you were still here.”
In Cantone’s Instagram post, he wrote, “Happy Birthday my Big Screen Husband #williegarson You are missed and loved in so many ways. An incredible partner, father and friend. You are in my heart and mind through all of it.”
Of all of Willie’s SATC co-stars, only Sarah Jessica Parker knew about his battle with pancreatic cancer.
In an episode of the documentary, And Just Like That…The Documentary, which followed the revamp of SATC’s newest addition, And Just Like That…, Parker talked about the struggles Garson went through in keeping his illness a secret and her wish that he had survived just a little longer to be able to reveal the truth to the other people that cared so deeply about him.
“If he could’ve stayed one more day, two more hours, three more weeks, he would’ve summoned the strength and pushed away the terrible pain that he was in. I mean like pain, like physical pain.”