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One Tree Hill’s Hilarie Burton mourns late co-star in beautiful tribute

The pair became good friends on the set of White Collar

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Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Hilarie Burton has shared a beautiful tribute to her White Collar co-star Willie Garson one year after his sad passing in September 2021. The actor died from pancreatic cancer aged 57.

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Taking to Instagram to share a story detailing her love and respect of the Sex and the City star, Hilarie wrote: "I just drove into Manhattan. I have a flight to catch in the morning. And I turned onto Houston and passed the block where @willie.garson and I would grab Italian food. He was pals with the waiters there. Of course.

WATCH: Willie's final role was in And Just Like That

"This year without him is rough. I won’t elaborate cause grief is one of those private, messy things. But I miss him. So I did this thing of trying to capture a memory. I remember filming this scene with Willie like it was yesterday. I don’t know why this day, of all the days, stands out. I’d felt insecure that day. I was unsure of my longevity on the show. And my life was in limbo. So he and I were off on our own, chatting. And I remember thinking, 'This guy is gonna be a lifelong friend.' He just kept building me up.

She continued to tell a story about how Willie insisted she kept a jacket from the costume department, but she was too shy to ask if she could keep it. "After we lost him, I wanted that jacket so bad," she wrote.

hilarie willie

Hilarie shared a photo of herself in the jacket alongside Willie

"Only problem was it was fashion from a decade ago. So I scoured the internet for weeks. I had no idea what brand it was. I just started plugging words into search engines. 'Sharp shoulder blazer 2010’. Finally. On @therealreal, I found it. A consigned @alexandermcqueen. I bought that damn jacket so fast. I don’t know why I’m sharing this other than to say I love my friend and miss him a lot. And I’m so happy I found the blazer he INSISTED I keep."

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Her friends and colleagues were quick to comment, with Busy Phillipps writing: "This is beautiful," while Michelle Monaghan added: "You’re a beautiful writer. And friend." A fan added: "I love you too and im really glad you were able to find it."

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