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The story behind Willie Garson's decision to adopt a son and become a single dad

The "Sex and the City" actor died this week at the age of 57.
/ Source: TODAY

Willie Garson had many professional accomplishments during his acting career, but the "Sex and the City" star's proudest achievement was being a father to his adopted son Nathen.

In a 2014 interview on TODAY's fourth hour, the actor said adopting Nathen was the best thing he'd ever done and he was clearly a proud father right up until his death at the age of 57 this week.

News of Garson's passing broke on Tuesday and Nathen, 20, shared a tribute to his late father.

"I love you so much papa. Rest In Peace and I’m so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much. I’m so proud of you. I will always love you, but I think it’s time for you to go on an adventure of your own," he wrote.

Garson's "Sex and the City" co-star Kristin Davis gave a nod to his dedication to being a single father in a tribute post on Instagram on Wednesday.

"We spoke about being single parents through adoption often. And nothing gave him more joy and pride than his son Nathen. Nathen’s strength and wisdom beyond his years are evident in his beautiful tribute to his dad," she wrote.

The actor adopted Nathen from the foster care system back in 2009 when he was 7 years old and told People last year that he had dreamed of becoming a father for a very long time.

“We had a smooth transition because we both wanted this adoption. Fatherhood is what I always wanted it to be,” he said. “I wanted it so badly and he wanted it so badly. I think often it can be difficult because it’s not that balanced.”

Garson, who raised Nathen as a single father, spoke with Page Six last October about his journey to fatherhood.

“I very much always wanted to have a child,” he said. “I had a long relationship, off and on, for like 20 years and she never wanted to have a child, which is fine. And it was like my mid-life crisis, I really wanted a child more than anything else and I got one. We’re partners, my kid and I.”

In a 2020 interview, Garson told Medium's Authority Magazine that he decided to adopt an older child because he knew he "would not serve a baby well." The actor also explained that he knew Nathen was meant to be his child the minute he saw him.

"He was like a light that was shining brightly. He was the only kid that was playing/laughing, and I knew that was my kid! Once I interacted with him, I knew we clicked, and I had to have him," he said.

The actor also opened up to Medium about the ways that fatherhood had changed him and said that becoming responsible for taking care of someone else really shifted the way he viewed life.

"It is such an important job and makes you grow in so many different ways. Being a dad comes with having so many special feelings," he said.