US actor Treat Williams dies aged 71 after motorbike crash
Actor Treat Williams, whose nearly 50-year career included starring roles in the TV series Everwood and the movie Hair, has died after a motorcycle crash in Vermont.
Shortly before 5pm on Monday, a Honda SUV was turning left into a car park when it collided with Williams’ motorbike in the town of Dorset, according to a statement from Vermont State Police.
“Williams was unable to avoid a collision and was thrown from his motorcycle. He suffered critical injuries and was airlifted to Albany Medical Centre in Albany, New York, where he was pronounced dead,” a police spokesperson said.
The 71-year-old was wearing a helmet.
The SUV’s driver received minor injuries and was not admitted to hospital. He had signalled the turn and was not immediately detained although the crash investigation continues, police said.
Williams, whose full name was Richard Treat Williams, lived in Manchester Centre in southern Vermont, police said.
His agent, Barry McPherson, confirmed the actor’s death.
“I’m just devastated. He was the nicest guy. He was so talented,” Mr McPherson told People magazine.
“He was an actor’s actor,” Mr McPherson said. “Filmmakers loved him. He’s been the heart of the Hollywood since the late 1970s.”
The Connecticut-born Williams made his movie debut in 1975 as a police officer in Deadly Hero and went on to appear in more than 120 TV and film roles, including The Eagle Has Landed, Prince Of The City and Once Upon A Time In America.
He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his role as hippie leader George Berger in the 1979 movie version of the hit musical Hair.
He appeared in dozens of television shows but was perhaps best known for his starring role from 2002 to 2006 in Everwood as Dr Andrew Brown, a widowed brain surgeon from Manhattan who moves with his two children to the Colorado mountain town of that name.
Williams also had a recurring role as Lenny Ross on the TV show Blue Bloods.
His stage appearances included Broadway shows such as Grease” and Pirates Of Penzance.
Colleagues and friends praised Williams as kind, generous and creative.
“Treat and I spent months in Rome filming Once Upon a Time in America,” actor James Woods tweeted. “It can be pretty lonely on the road during a long shoot, but his resilient good cheer and sense of humour was a Godsend. I really loved him and am devastated that he’s gone.”
“Working with Treat Williams in Mamet’s Speed the Plow at Williamstown in ’91 was the start of great friendship,” tweeted writer, director and producer Justine Williams. “Damn it, damn it. Treat, you were the best. Love you.”
“Treat Williams was a passionate, adventurous, creative man,” actor Wendell Pierce tweeted. “In a short period of time, he quickly befriended me & his adventurous spirit was infectious. We worked on just one film together but occasionally connected over the years. Kind and generous with advice and support. RIP.”
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