Treat Williams gave a little something to every generation. He joyously let out a hippie yodel in 1979’s Hair movie. He bestowed massive amounts of charm on 80s kids as The Little Mermaid’s prince in Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. And he was the first daddy crush for many when he played a small-town doctor in Everwood. Not to mention Prince of the City, Smooth Talk, and more. So, many are feeling the sads in a big way this morning after hearing that Treat Williams tragically died yesterday in a motorcycle accident. He was 71.
TMZ says that at 5 pm yesterday, Treat Williams was on his motorcycle and wearing a helmet when an SUV crashed into him in a parking lot in Dorset, Vermont. Treat lived in nearby Manchester Center. A treat was airlifted to Albany Medical Center in New York, where doctors pronounced him dead. Treat’s agent, Barry McPherson, confirmed the horrible news in a statement to People:
“He was killed this afternoon. He was making a left or a right [and] a car cut him off. I’m just devastated. He was the nicest guy. He was so talented. He was an actor’s actor. Filmmakers loved him. He’s been the heart of the Hollywood since the late 1970s,” McPherson continues. “He was really proud of his performance this year. He’s been so happy with the work that I got him. He’s had a balanced career.”
The police are investigating the crash.
Treat Williams was born Richard Treat Williams on December 1, 1951, in Stamford, Connecticut. According to Treat’s Wikipedia page, on his family tree are P.T. Barnum and Founding Father Robert Treat Paine, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Treat didn’t only look like he could perfectly play a high school football player on TV; he was a high school football player. Treat also played football at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania, but the call to act became too loud to ignore.
After working on his acting skills with the Fulton Repertory Theatre Troupe in Lancaster, PA, Treat moved to NYC to make it in the THI-TURR. And if you ask me, he made “it” with his first-ever role. Treat was in the original Broadway production of Grease in 1972 and eventually swished and swayed as Danny Zuko. Throughout his long acting career, Treat continued to return to Broadway with roles in Over Here! (1974), The Pirates of Penzance (1981), Love Letters (1989), and Follies (2001).
Treat made his movie debut in 1975’s Deadly Hero. And a year later, he played a squeaky-voiced detective in the movie version of Terrence McNally’s bathhouse comedy, The Ritz. One of Treat’s biggest breaks came when he was cast as George Berger in the 1979 Hair movie directed by Milos Forman. Behold, Treat working a glorious explosion of curls while singing about how he’s got hair, life, and ASS!
Treat was nominated for New Star of the Year at the 1980 Golden Globes for his performance in Hair. He also received Golden Globe nominations for his performances in Sidney Lumet’s 1981 film Prince of the City and for his performance as Stanley Kowalski in a 1984 TV movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite Ann-Margret (as Blanche) and Beverly D’Angelo (as Steeeeelllaaaaaaah).
Treat Williams may have had boy next door turned DILF next door good looks, but he could play all kinds of roles and did, from a James-Dean wannabe nightmare boyfriend in Smooth Talk (1985) to a boat captain in Deep Rising (1998) to a killer teacher in The Substitute movies to playing Michael Ovitz in The Late Shift (1996). Treat’s long movie resume also includes performances in Steven Spielberg’s 1941 (1979), Flashpoint (1984), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Dead Heat (1988), Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead (1995), Mulholland Falls (1996), The Phantom (1996), The Devil’s Own (1997), The Deep End of the Ocean (1998), Miss Congeniality 2 (2005), What Happens in Vegas (2008), 127 Hours (2010), and Second Act (2018).
On TV, Treat is probably best known to most for The WB’s Everwood, where he played small-town doctor Andy Brown for four seasons from 2002 to 2006. Treat also played the boyfriend of Sally Field’s character in Brothers & Sisters and graced episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Heartland, The Simpsons, White Collar, Chicago Fire, Blue Bloods, We Own This City, and Hawaii Five-O, as well as many Hallmark movies.
He was also a pilot and certified flight instructor. And he wrote a children’s book about planes called Air Show!
Treat is survived by his of 35 years, Pam Van Sant, their two children, Gill and Ellie, and his pooch Woody. Here’s a sweet picture from a couple of months ago of Treat celebrating Woody’s birthday:
Rest in peace, Treat Williams.
Pic: Warner Bros.