USA’s White Collar was conceived as a two-hander — a story of a suave thief, Neal, played by Matt Bomer, and a by-the-book FBI agent, Peter, played by Tim DeKay, who form an unlikely partnership to solve crimes. But it was Neal’s genius and paranoid con man best friend Mozzie, played by Willie Garson, who regularly stole the show.
Today, following the news of Garson’s death at 57, his partner in crime Bomer posted an emotional tribute on Instagram next to a gallery of photos of the two through the years.
“I still haven’t wrapped my head around a world without you in it – where I can’t call you when I need to laugh, or be inspired,” Bomer wrote.
He reminisced about the last time he saw his friend.
“The last thing you did when we said goodbye was pull down your mask (I hate covid), smile, and wink at me,” Bomer said. He ended his message with, “Save a place for me, because you know I want to be at your table up there.”
DeKay also mourned Garson’s death on Instagram.
White Collar creator Jeff Eastin bid farewell to Garson on Twitter, saying, “You were the best of us.”
Goodbye my friend. You were the best of us. pic.twitter.com/9t1J9XHk9N
— Jeff Eastin (@jeffeastin) September 22, 2021
The series’ female lead, Tiffani Thiessen, said she was “heartbroken.” Hilarie Burton was “devastated.”
NBCUniversal, whose USA Network aired White Collar, wrote: “No matter what project he was on, Willie was always a fan favorite. Nowhere was that more true than on White Collar, where he took the character of Mozzie, an outcast conspiracy theorist, and made him lovable to the core. He will be missed.”