Park City remembers actor Treat Williams as Park City arts benefactor
A motorcycle accident took actor Treat Williams’ life this week. Now his legacy lives on in the Park City arts community.
Hours before Treat Williams was killed in a Vermont motorcycle crash June 12, he tweeted a photo of an idyllic green lawn and white puffy clouds, taken from his lawnmower. He commented, “Mowing today. Wish I could bottle this scent.”
Williams lived in Vermont, but for many years, Park City was his home. Randy Barton is the executive director of Park City’s Egyptian Theatre and the host of the Local View on KPCW. He said Williams moved to the area after filming the television series “Everwood” in 2006 and quickly became an important part of the community.
“We were friends, went to his house often, he would come into town and we would hang out,” Barton said. “He was a real local. Not just a second homeowner. He lived here.”
Barton said Williams had a hand in saving the Egyptian Theatre when it almost collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis.
Williams’s big break as an actor was his starring role in the 1979 televised version of the Broadway musical, “Hair.” Barton approached Williams to help bring the musical to Park City.
“I asked him if we were to book and stage the musical 'Hair,' would he be willing to introduce it and host a fundraiser and help us rescue the theater by doing that musical,” Barton said. “He agreed to do it and was instrumental in helping us pay off all our debts from the financial crisis and get the theater on a good solid financial footing at that time.”
Barton went on to describe Williams as a gracious man who was full of life.
Teri Orr was the executive director of the Park City Institute for 25 years. She said Williams was a frequent audience member.
“He just loved what we did," she said. "It was his line of work. He loved coming to the shows, he loved being outdoors in the summer, when we had the concept of Deer Valley back in the day.”
Orr said Williams also supported the arts community in whatever way he could.
“He wasn't someone who was a bystander, he got engaged and involved, he and his wife both, I mean, we should mention Pam, too,” Orr said. “She was involved as well.”
It wasn’t just the arts that drew Williams to Park City, Barton said he also loved to ski. In a 2006 interview with the Deseret News, Williams described himself as a “compulsive skier.”
“Yeah, he was on the mountain. He was, you know, a real part of Park City for many years," Barton said.
Information about Williams’ survivors was not immediately available.