Hollywood Actor Treat Williams dies at 71 after motorcycle accident
VERMONT (ABC) – Treat Williams, a star of stage, television and film, has died in a motorcycle accident, according to his agent. He was 71.
The accident happened just before 5 p.m. Monday on Vermont Route 30 just north of Morse Hill Road in Dorset, Vermont.
State police say the crash involved a Honda Element and a 1986 Honda motorcycle driven by Williams.
“It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved Treat Williams has 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 greatly bereaved at this time.”
Vermont State Police said in a statement that Williams was critically injured in Dorset about 4:53 p.m. Monday when a Honda SUV turned in front of him, ending 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.
They say the SUV, driven by 35-year-old Ryan Koss, attempted to turn left into a parking lot. The initial investigation indicates the Element stopped, signaled a left turn, and then turned into the path of the motorcycle.
Williams recently guest starred in HBO’s “We Own This City,” a drama about corruption in Baltimore that was 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’s actor by starting as an understudy for the Broadway hit “Grease” in the 1970s before he took the lead role as Danny Zuko. But his real breakthrough was as director Miloš Forman’s hippie character George Berger in a defining film of the counterculture, “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 John Erman’s adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ classic “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
In his television career, Williams had roles on “Law & Order,” “Blue Bloods” and other shows, often as a benevolent-seeming patriarch with just a hint of corruption beneath the surface.
More recently he portrayed Dr. Andrew Brown in the WB series “Everwood” and Brian Grabler, a retired Baltimore police detective, in “We Own This City.” In the latter series, he teaches at the police academy and, according to HBO’s 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, according to his 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 immersed in stage classics at Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, the bio says. Williams’ later success meant free time could be spent flying, and he became a licensed pilot and instructor.
Williams’ versatile screen career included an early role in director Milos Forman’s adaptation of the musical “Hair” in 1979, followed by a starring vehicle with another A-list director, Sidney Lumet, in the gritty undercover crime drama “Prince of the City” two years later.
Later in that decade, Williams enjoyed leading action star status in 1998’s B-movie “Deep Rising,” about a killer sea monster, starring opposite Famke Janssen, Wes Studi and Djimon Hounsou.
The late actor is survived by his wife Pam Van Sant and their two children.
The investigation into this crash is in its early stages.
His last tweet when he was harvesting
What a real Vermonter does pic.twitter.com/gNflWGoxdN
— Treat Williams (@Rtreatwilliams) June 12, 2023