Treat Williams
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Hallmark Star Treat Williams Lived In A 200 Year-Old Vermont Farmhouse With His Family

Treat Williams really is one of the greats. The Rowayton, Connecticut native got his big break in theatre, starring as Danny Zuko in Grease on Broadway. Whether you recognize him from his Golden Globe-nominated performance as George Berger in Milo? Forman's movie musical Hair or from one of his many starring TV roles on shows like Everwood and Chesapeake Shores, Williams has pretty much been everywhere and done everything throughout his lengthy career. And somehow he's managed to be a happy family man along the way.

Ever since Williams' breakout role in Grease, he's proven that he can effortlessly change gears from theater to TV to film. But the actor explained to ABC NY that he actually never had any intentions of appearing on anything other than the stage while he pursued an acting career after attending Franklin and Marshall College. 

"I always wanted to be what we called a 'New York actor,'" Williams said. "I had no pretensions of ever being on film or television in my life."

"The fact that I was on stage for so many years before I ever really started to hit in films was incredibly helpful for me," he continued. "You know, you're out there for two hours on your own, and that's a skill that a lot of young actors don't have."

But after years of appearing in notable stage productions like The Pirates of Penzance, Williams did successfully create a strong career for himself in TV and film. He was in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, Flashpoint, Deep Rising, Second Act, The Phantom, What Happens in Vegas, The Ritz, Prince of the City, Deadly Hero, Smooth Talk, Mulholland Falls, The Late Shift, Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader and Why Would I Lie? He even had a cameo as a stormtrooper in The Empire Strikes Back

As for TV, Williams is known for playing Dr. Andy Brown on the WB's Everwood, playing a New York City doctor who moves his family to a small town in Colorado. He's appeared on Brothers & Sisters in the recurring role of David Morton, Good Advice, White Collar, Chicago Fire on NBC, Hawaii Five-0 on CBS, and even Blue Bloods. His resume of TV films is incredibly impressive as well including the starring role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, as well as lead roles in Dempsey, J. Edgar Hoover, The Late Shift (which earned Williams an Emmy nomination), and Dolly Parton's Netflix film Christmas on the Square. 

But many fans of the Hallmark Channel definitely recognize Williams from playing Mick O'Brien on the popular series Chesapeake Shores. After the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, Williams explained to Smashing Interviews that the network was incredibly accommodating to the actors on the show when filming had to be postponed.

"Yes, I've been one of the lead actors in Chesapeake Shores for them for four years. I thought what they did was extraordinary. They called us and said, "Guys, we're going to postpone your show for a year because of COVID, but we're going to find work for you that will help you to get through the year financially because we know you were depending on it, and we want you to be around when we start up again." So they've been very standup about finding us all a movie to do just to financially get us through the year, and I'm deeply grateful to them for this. So they did just offer it to me, and I was thrilled when I read the script. They've been fantastic. I can't say enough about Hallmark."

As a result, Williams was able to star in The Christmas House, the first Hallmark holiday film to feature a married gay couple. The actor added that he's very proud to have been part of that historic moment on the popular network as they continue to be more diverse in their programming.

"So I think it was time for everybody to catch up with the fact that we're all here, and it's really just about loving one another. They're not scary people. The new head of Hallmark is African-American, which I think is terrific. So they really are moving forward in ways that I'm very proud to be a part of this network." 

 But outside of his famed career, Williams actually keeps things low-key. One of his main hobbies is flying planes, he's been a pilot for over 40 years, with over 10,000 hours spent in the cockpit. He's been married to his wife Pam Van Sant since 1988 and they share two children together — Gill and Ellie. They reside in a 200-year old farmhouse in Manchester, Vermont where Williams has gotten in the habit of posting photos of his surroundings on Twitter. He explained to My Devotional Thoughts that he's gotten some entertaining comments from his social media followers as a result. 

"Somebody went, " OMG! Treat Williams is on Twitter!" And somebody wrote back, "No, that's a farmer in Vermont who takes pictures of old buildings and stuff." {laughs} I was so proud of that. You know, I'm very happy where I live and I love my environment."

Williams tragically lost his life in a motorcycle accident on June 13. The Hallmark Channel and his fellow co-stars paid their respects on social media.