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Taylor Kinney shares emotional update during absence from Chicago Fire - his tribute to Treat Williams

The actor recently stepped away from the show which he has been a part of since it began

CHICAGO FIRE -- "The White Whale" Episode 721 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
13 June 2023
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Taylor Kinney has paid a heartfelt tribute after the untimely death of his co-star and onscreen dad, Treat Williams

The Chicago Fire alum shared a statement with HELLO! on Tuesday after the Hair actor was killed in a motorbike accident in Vermont. 

"My thoughts and prayers are with Treat’s family," Taylor, 41, said. "He played my father on Chicago Fire, and was a father figure to everyone on set. I’ll always relish our conversations and his uncanny ability to light up a room. We all send love, he will be missed."

WATCH: Hair and Evergreen star Treat Williams dies in motorcycle crash

Treat's character was Benny Severide, Kelly Severide's father. Taylor has been noticeably absent from the show as he is currently taking a leave of absence from the show, with his character having left Firehouse 51 for a prestigious OFI training camp in Alabama in episode 15. 

While we know that the show will be back for a 12th series, Taylor's role in the drama has yet to be addressed. Treat's death was confirmed by his agent of 15 years, Barry McPherson on Monday evening.

Taylor Kinney with Treat Williams on Chicago Fire© Getty Images
Taylor with Treat on Chicago Fire

According to Barry, the accident occurred when a car abruptly cut off Williams as he was making a turn. "He was killed this afternoon. He was making a left or a right [and] a car cut him off," he revealed. 

Overwhelmed with grief, Barry added: "I'm just devastated. He was the nicest guy. He was so talented."

Treat Williams attends the premiere of P12 Films' 'The Great Alaskan Race' at ArcLight Hollywood on October 17, 2019 in Hollywood, California© Getty Images
Treat was a celebrated actor

Treat, often described as an actor's actor, had been a beloved figure in Hollywood since the late 1970s. McPherson spoke fondly of his client's achievements, stating, "Filmmakers loved him. He's been the heart of Hollywood. He was really proud of his performance this year. He's been so happy with the work that I got him. He's had a balanced career."

The incident involved Williams' motorcycle and a single car, with investigators suggesting that the driver of the car failed to see the motorcycle while making a turn.

Treat Williams, wife Pam Van Sant, and son Gill Williams in 2002© Ron Galella, Ltd.
Treat Williams, wife Pam Van Sant, and son Gill Williams in 2002

Treat was the sole individual injured, and he was airlifted to a hospital via a LifeNet helicopter from Ticonderoga, New York.

Beyond his successful career, Williams leaves behind a loving family.

He is survived by his wife, actress Pam Van Sant, and their two children, Gille and Ellie.

Many other stars paid tribute after his sudden passing. John Travolta was one of the first to pay tribute, recalling their experience on Broadway in the musicals Grease and Over Here.

taylor kinney chicago© Photo: Sky
The news comes amid Taylor's absence from Chicago Fire

"Treat Williams and I got our start together in NYC appearing in two Broadway shows, Grease and Over Here," he wrote. "I'm so sorry, Treat. My thoughts are with you and your family. You will be missed. Love, John."

Catherine Zeta-Jones, who starred opposite Williams in 1996's The Phantom, shared a still of theirs from the movie, simply writing: "R.I.P. Dearest Treat Williams."

Kim Cattrall, who worked with the late star and dad-of-two on the 1999 TV movie 36 Hours to Die, shared an image of the pair on-screen and wrote: "I'm in shock! "RIP Dear Treat. My condolences to Pam, Gille, Ellie and the family. A wonderful actor and friend."

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