How the Late Willie Garson's Stanford Blatch Is Still Featured in "And Just Like That" Season 2
Sept. 21, 2021, was a sad day for "Sex and the City" fans when we learned of Willie Garson's (who played talent agent Stanford Blatch) death. Garson died of a short illness after suffering from a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57 years old.
Knowing that the actor reprised his role in the reboot series, "And Just Like That," fans wondered how his story would play out since his death occurred while the show was still filming.
The good news is Stanford does appear in the first three episodes of the reboot's first season, but those are the only times he physically shows up. However, his character still lives on in the revival through subtle mentions.
Read ahead for everything we know about Stanford's "And Just Like That" appearances.
How Is Stanford Written Out of "And Just Like That" Season 1?
During season one, episode four, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) discovers a "dramatic note" Stanford leaves in her old apartment, and it reveals some shocking news about his whereabouts. "Dearest Carrie, by the time you read this I'll be in Tokyo," the letter begins. Carrie then calls Stanford's husband, Anthony (played by Mario Cantone), to shed light on her discovery. Apparently, the agent is off in Japan managing Ashley — a 17-year-old Long Island TikTok star who's "huge in Asia" — and accompanying her on tour. When Carrie asks why he couldn't relay the message of his sudden travels in person, Anthony says, "He couldn't bring himself to tell you he was leaving face to face after Big died."
Stanford's trip to Tokyo could've been the end-all solution to address Garson's unexpected death, but it seems the show's writers found another way to end his story. In addition to leaving for Japan, Stanford also asked Anthony for a divorce (coincidentally in a letter as well), seemingly closing the book on his character. But he has a small feature later on in the series as well.
Is Willie Garson in "And Just Like That" Season 2?
Garson's Stanford may not appear on screen in the revival's second season, but Carrie does name-drop him in the premiere episode. While getting ready for the Met Gala, Carrie's dress designer Smoke (Bethlehem Million) compliments her silky kimono, to which Carrie replies, "Oh, thank you. My friend, Stanford, sent it to me from Japan."
What the "And Just Like That" Cast Have Said About Willie Garson's Death
On Dec. 14, 2021, Cantone opened up about Garson's death on late comedian Gilbert Gottfried's "Amazing Colossal Podcast." "It was a real shock," Cantone said. "None of us knew, and it was just, it was terrible. It was very sad."
Garson was reportedly set to have a "very significant storyline" in "And Just Like That," Parker previously told Vulture, but his illness only allowed him to film three out of the 10 episodes in season one.
In Max's "And Just Like That... The Documentary," released in February 2022, several members of the cast open up about their final moments filming with Garson before his death. "The last time I saw Willie, and most of us saw Willie, maybe all of us saw Willie, was at Mr. Big's funeral," Cynthia Nixon shares. As stated in previous reports, as well as the documentary, Parker was the only person from the cast who knew how ill Garson was. "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," Parker says.
"He would always tell me that he was the most popular character on the show, and he was not making a joke, he was quite serious . . . turned out, he might've been right."
Executive producer/writer/showrunner Michael Patrick King also spoke about Garson's death in the documentary, calling it a "shock" that "was unexpected." Nixon even recalls spending "hours and hours" filming with Garson during one particular scene in Carrie's apartment, noting that "he was so funny and silly and full of energy." Parker added to the somber reflections, saying, "I can't believe I can't call Willie . . . I cannot believe it. He would always tell me that he was the most popular character on the show, and he was not making a joke, he was quite serious . . . turned out, he might've been right."
Since Garson's death, his "Sex and the City" costars have kept his memory alive by honoring his life with their own heartfelt tributes online. In a September 2021 Instagram post, Parker shared throwback photos of the two and captioned them, "The magnitude of the loss of a 30 + year friendship. A real friendship that allowed for secrets, adventure, a shared professional family, truth, concerts, road trips, meals, late night phone calls, a mutual devotion to parenthood and all the heartaches and joy that accompany, triumphs, disappointments, fear, rage and years spent on sets (most especially Carrie's apartment) and laughing late into the night as both Stanford and Carrie and Willie and SJ."
She continued, "Willie. I will miss everything about you. And replay our last moments together. I will re-read every text from your final days and put to pen our last calls. Your absence a crater that I will fill with blessing of these memories and all the ones that are still in recesses yet to surface . . . These were his last words to me. 'Great bangles all around.' Yes. Godspeed Willie Garson. RIP. X, SJ."