September 21, 2023

Treat Williams, ‘Hair’ and ‘Everwood’ Star, Dies at 71

Treat Williams, an accomplished screen actor acclaimed for starring in the musical “Hair” and starring in the WB series “Everwood,” died Monday afternoon after being involved in a motorcycle accident near Dorset, Vt. He was 71.

Williams’ death was confirmed by a statement from his family released by his agency APA. The Vermont State Police reported a road closure near Dorset at 5:24 p.m. due to a car accident. He was transferred to Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY

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“It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Treat Williams passed away tonight in Dorset, Vt. following a fatal motorcycle accident,” the statement read. “As you can imagine, we are shocked and very saddened 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 this. It’s all so shocking right now, but please know that Treat was very, very loved and respected by his family and everyone who knew him. We are devastated and ask that you respect our privacy as we deal with our grief. To all his fans, please know that Treat appreciated you all and please continue to hold him in your hearts and prayers.

Actor Gregory Smith, who played Williams’ son Ephram in “Everwood,” shared a statement with Variety following the news: “This news is devastating. Treat was a wonderful man and a brilliant actor. Most of all, he loved his family so much. I am 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 fondly remember his stories, his laughter and his passion for adventure. Sending love to his family, Pam, Gil and Elinor. He will be greatly missed.”

At the age of 28, Williams received acclaim for his performance in ‘Hair’, Miloš Forman’s big screen film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Williams earned a Golden Globe nomination in the now-defunct New Star of the Year (Actor) category. Two years later, he competed again, this time for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his performance in Sidney Lumet’s “Prince of the City.”

Williams’ other notable film credits include starring alongside Laura Dern in the coming-of-age romance “Smooth Talk,” which came out in 1985 and earned Williams an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Lead Actor. He also starred in ‘Deep Rising’, the now-cult film about aquatic creatures from the 1990s that focuses on Williams’ captain and his crew’s struggle to survive.

Williams got his most notable role of this century with ‘Everwood’, starring Dr. Andy Brown, a Manhattan neurosurgeon who moves his family to rural Colorado after the death of his wife. Williams headlined the WB series for four seasons, earning a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.

Williams was a regular on television and often made guest appearances, with recurring roles on “White Collar,” “Chicago Fire,” “We Own This City,” and “Blue Bloods.” Playing a construction family patriarch, he was a main cast member of “Chesapeake Stories,” which concluded a six-season run on the Hallmark Channel last October. Williams appeared on “Blue Bloods” in the episode “Irish Exits” in May.

Born Richard Treat Williams on December 1, 1951, in Rowayton, Connecticut, Williams graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania before pursuing an acting career. He made his screen debut in 1975 with a role in the feature film “Deadly Hero” before landing the lead role of “Hair”.

Williams is survived by his wife, Pam Van Sant; and their children, Gil and Elinor Williams.

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