Treat Williams, a star of stage, television and film, died in a motorcycle accident, his family said Monday night. He is 71 years old.
“It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Treat Williams passed away tonight in Dorset, Vermont after a fatal motorcycle accident,” his family said in a statement. “As you can imagine, we are shocked and very saddened at this time.”
Vermont State Police said in a statement that Williams was critically injured in Dorset around 4:53 p.m. Monday when a Honda SUV swerved in front of him, resulting in a collision that threw Williams from his 1986 Honda. motorcycle.
He was taken to Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead, state police said.
The driver of the SUV, who was not injured, was not cited; An investigation into the collision is ongoing, police said.
Williams recently guest-starred on HBO’s “We Own This City,” a drama about corruption in Baltimore that aired and streamed this spring. In 2016, he played the title character in the theatrical and streaming release of “The Congressman.”
He developed as an actor by starting out as an understudy for the Broadway hit “Grease” in the 1970s before landing the role of Danny Zuko. But his real breakthrough came as director Miloš Forman’s hippie character George Berger in a defining counterculture film, “Hair,” in 1979.
That opened the door to roles in countless films, including Steven Spielberg’s “1941,” Sidney Lumet’s “Prince of the City,” Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America” and the adaptation of John Erman in the classic “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Tennessee Williams. .”
During his television career, Williams had roles on “Law & Order,” “Blue Bloods” and other shows, often as a benevolent patriarch with just a hint of corruption.
Recently he played Dr. Andrew Brown in the WB series “Everwood” and Brian Grabler, a retired Baltimore police detective, in “We Own This City.” In the last series, he teaches at the police academy and, according to HBO news release“recognizes much of what has gone wrong” with the city’s force.
Williams was born in Rowayton, Connecticut, to Marian and Richard Norman Williams, she said IMDb bio. He went from prep school to Pennsylvania’s Franklin and Marshall College, where he dived into the world of stage and screen.
His summers were spent underwater in classics on stage at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster, the bio says. Later, Williams’ success meant free time to fly, and he became a licensed pilot and instructor.
In their statement, his family said his loved ones were “beyond devastated.”
“Treat was full of love for his family, for his life and for his work, and was really at the top of his game through it all,” the family said. “Everyone is in shock right now, but please know that Treat is loved and respected by his family and everyone who knew him.”
Sharon Lawrence, who starred in the movie “The Christmas House” with Williams, said she was “stunned” by the news of his death. “My heart aches for the loss. What a remarkable man,” she said in an Instagram post.
Williams, he said, “enjoyed his life immensely. He created a beautiful existence and example of steadfast love. He was honest and clear and devoted to his family and passions. I can’t imagine losing his loved ones — it’s just devastating.”
John Travolta, Sharon Stone and Kim Cattrall were also among the celebrities who paid tribute to Williams.
Travolta said in an Instagram story that Williams will be missed as he shared a photo of them together on Broadway.
“Treat Williams and I got our start together in NYC appearing in 2 Broadway shows, ‘Grease’ and ‘Over Here’,” Travolta wrote.
“I’m so sorry Treat. My thoughts are with you and your family. You will be missed,” he said.
Stone wrote on Instagram, “Sad news rest in peace brother.”
Cattrall said in a tweet he was “shocked” after learning of Williams’ death, calling him a “wonderful actor and friend.”
Former Baltimore Sun journalist David Simon, creator of “We Own This City,” said he was honored when Williams signed on to the show.
“After years of police reporting, ‘Prince Of The City’ was the only movie that made me believe anyone else knew the truth about the drug war,” he. tweeted. “So honored to have Treat Williams sign on to deliver our own, eventually critical review of the disaster. RIP to a legendary actor and a kind, kind man.”
Williams was excited about his first film work, saying in a 2011 interview with AV Club that “Hair” was “the greatest movie experience of my life.”
“It was just really, really fun,” he said. “I love John Savage and Beverly D’Angelo, and Milos Forman is one of the great filmmakers of all time. That was really an honor to be a part of.”
He is survived by his wife, Pam Van Sant, and their children, Gill Williams and Elinor Williams.