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Willie Garson Biography

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Birth Name: Willie Garson
Born: 02/20/1964
Birth Place: Highland Park, New Jersey, USA

William Garson Paszamant was born in 1964 in Highland Park, NJ. He graduated from Highland Park High School in 1992, but started training at The Actors Institute in New York when he was only 13 years-old before majoring in theater and psychology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT - an institute which counted among its famous luminaries, actress Dana Delany and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB, 1997-2003) creator Joss Whedon. If all his training was not enough, Garson also studied at the prestigious Yale Drama School, appearing in a number of plays along the way, where he was consistently singled out for his work. After graduation, Garson found his love for acting outweighed his psychology studies. Almost immediately, he began landing guest roles on top-rated shows like the sitcom giant, "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2005) - proving he had made the right career path decision. In the 1999 episode titled, "The One with the Girl Who Hits Joey," Garson hilariously played the tenant board representative in Ross Geller's (David Schwimmer) new apartment building who does his best to ostracize Ross as a bad neighbor.

On the big screen, Garson made a few good friends in high places, collaborated with offbeat and innovative directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly in three of their films. During the triple turn of hilarity, he acted alongside Woody Harrelson in "Kingpin" (1996), played in an eighties flashback scene with Ben Stiller in "There's Something about Mary" (1998), and was one of Jimmy Fallon's baseball-addicted best friends in the romantic comedy "Fever Pitch" (2005). To all experts of the genre, it was apparent that comedy came naturally for Garson; even in supporting roles, where he still managed to outshine his bigger name costars. Garson also appeared in several quirky ensemble comedies such as the feature film comedies, "Soapdish" (1991), "Mars Attacks" (1996) and "Being John Malkovich" (1999).

Apart from all the yuks and guffaws, character acting remained a major driving force in Garson's thus far successful television career. He stayed busy and played several recurring characters in a wide array of TV projects, appearing in such geek-fare as the science fiction series "Stargate SG-1" (Sci-Fi Channel, 1997- ) and "Star Trek: Voyager" (UPN, 1995-2001), as well as appearing on "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002). Showing off his dramatic chops, he appeared memorably in such roles as Henry Coffield, Detective Simone's (Jimmy Smits) apartment owner/tenant and friend in the award-winning series "NYPD Blue" (ABC, 1993-2005) and, in one of his most shocking, controversial parts, a 1992 episode of "Quantum Leap" (NBC, 1989-1993), in which he played JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Garson's unique look and ability to comfortably work in all genres continued to stand out, landing him more work and more loyal devotees. Among them was groundbreaking uber-TV producer David E. Kelley, who was a big enough Garson fan, that he cast the actor in episodes of two of his most acclaimed legal shows - one, comedic, in "Ally Mc Beal" (FOX, 1997-2002); the other, dramatic, in "The Practice" (ABC, 1997-2004).

No matter the friends and high places and high profile shows clamoring to work with him - the less-showy stage continued to be as much a home to Garson as film and TV sets. He continued to perform with various bicoastal theater companies in New York and Los Angeles and was a member of prestigious groups such as Naked Angels, The Manhattan Theater Club, the Roundabout Theater and the Geffen Playhouse. He also became involved in numerous community and charity organizations - from Big Brothers to Young Artists United, a nationwide group aimed at communication and problem-solving among teens. The big-hearted thespian also read to first graders weekly through the Screen Actor's Guild "Bookpals" program.

Aside from acting on TV and the big screen, Garson also found success as a celebrity poker player. In 2003, "Evil Willie" (a nickname given to Garson for his fierce card playing) won his round of Texas Hold 'Em on Bravo's addictive hit show "Celebrity Poker Showdown" (Bravo, 2003- ). After appearing successfully in his recurring role as Carrie Bradshaw's "main gay" on "Sex and the City" for several years, Garson saw his nattily-dressed character - who was always a dependable shoulder for Carrie to lean on - translate to the big screen for a role in the much-anticipated big screen translation. He also continued to install loyalty when HBO - home of "Sex" - gave him a role in their highly touted 2007 series, "John from Cincinnati" (2007). Unfortunately, even being created by renowned scribe David Milch was not enough to save the series, after it failed to catch on w/ a post-"Sopranos" (HBO, 1999-2007) cable audience.