And Just Like That Gives Stanford Blatch a Proper Send-Off
Sept. 21, 2021, was a sad day for Sex and the City fans when we learned that Willie Garson (who played talent agent Stanford Blatch) died. 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, but it looks like those are the only times he shows up.
During episode four, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) discovers a “dramatic note” Stanford left 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. And 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), closing the book on his character.
Cantone opened up about Garson’s death on Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast on Dec. 14. “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 story line” in the reboot, according to Parker, but his illness only allowed him to film for three out of the 10 episodes in season one. In a recent interview, executive producer/showrunner Michael Patrick King shared his last memory of Garson before he died.
“My final interaction with Willie came when I spoke to him on the phone about a scene I had written for him to come in and do with Sarah Jessica – just Carrie and Stanford,” King told Vulture. “It was a scene to explain his absence in the series. He was very realistic with me; he said, ‘Please, don’t think I don’t want to do it – I can’t.’ When I remember my time with Willie, the first thing I’ll think of is his love of being an actor. Every part of it.”