Why Did Taylor Kinney Call Treat Williams a Father Figure? The Answer Will Warm Your Heart

Taylor Kinney has shared a heartfelt homage to his late Chicago Fire co-star Treat Williams, whose unexpected passing has left many in shock.

Williams, known for his roles in Everwood and Hair, tragically passed away at the age of 71 following a motorcycle accident on Monday.

In the popular NBC fire department series, Williams took on the character of Benny Severide, father to Kinney’s Lt. Kelly Severide, for seven seasons spanning from 2013 to 2018.

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Kinney, 41, expressed his profound condolences to Williams’ family during an exclusive conversation with PEOPLE.

In a reflective tone, he said, “Treat was more than just my on-screen dad in Chicago Fire, he was a father figure to everyone on set. His lively conversations and the unique spark he brought to any room will be something I’ll always cherish. He’ll be deeply missed, and we all extend our love.”

In a Twitter post back in 2018, Williams celebrated the conclusion of his journey on Chicago Fire by sharing a picture with Kinney and fellow cast members Miranda Rae Mayo and Kim Delaney.

With a nod to their talent, he captioned the tweet, “Wrapped up my #ChicagoFire episodes. Miranda Rae Mayo, Taylor Kinney, Kim Delaney. Truly amazing actors.”

Tributes have also been pouring in from his previous co-stars from Everwood and White Collar.

Williams notably played Sam Phelps, father to Matt Bomer’s character, for six seasons on White Collar. Bomer, 45, expressed his deep respect and gratitude for Williams on Instagram.

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In his homage, he said, “I felt extremely honored when he accepted the role of my father in White Collar, making every day on set a joyful experience. His patience and kindness were lessons to us all. He had a unique way of caring about people, often checking in on me even years after our work together.”

Bomer ended his tribute with a heartfelt message to the late actor, “Treat, you were not just a remarkable actor, but also a remarkable person. I will miss you, and I feel blessed to have known you. My deepest sympathies to your wife and children. Rest in peace, my dear friend.”

Williams’ unfortunate passing was confirmed to PEOPLE on Monday night by his long-time agent, Barry McPherson.

McPherson shared, “He lost his life this afternoon after a vehicle cut him off. It’s utterly heartbreaking. Treat was genuinely the nicest guy and so incredibly talented.”

Continuing his tribute, McPherson added, “He was truly an actor’s actor. Beloved by filmmakers, he was a vital part of Hollywood since the late ’70s. He took immense pride in his work this year and was truly content with the roles I managed to secure for him. He’s had a truly balanced career.”

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